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Many are the books written on Japan and the 
Japanese. They are mostly written by those travel- 
lers who went out to Japan on a longer or shorter 
visit, and who, as the Japanese say, ' travelled like 
dumb men.' But few, few are the books which 
try to introduce to the West the beautiful products 
of the Japanese mind. 

Of the former we have already had too many ; of 
the latter we can never have enough. For what is 
the good of writing books merely to excite the 
curiosity in the reader by telling him of many 
f queer things ' about a country ? It is high time 
that Japan was studied from a more serious than 
a tourist's point of view. To visit a country in 
search of the beautiful in nature is scarcely worth 
the expense involved, while to study it in search of 
the beautiful in man not only repays the trouble 
an hundredfold, but indirectly conduces to the 
peace of the world at large. And to this end there 
is nothing like a study of its literature, always an 
index and mirror of a nation's mind. 

It is therefore with extreme pleasure that I hail 
another attempt by my friend Mr. W. N. Porter, 
who has already done a great deal in the way of 

A 2 


transplanting on English soil some of the lovely 
flowers of Japanese literature. 

Tsure-zure Gusa, the original of this translation, is 
one of the classics in our literature, and is much 
read as a text-book in our schools. The name is 
derived from the opening word of the text, Tsure- 
zure ( = 4 leisure '), and Gusa, a compound variant of 
kusa, which means ' grass ', a word sometimes used 
to designate anything not quite finished up, raw and 
rough as it were. So, ' Random Leaves from my 
Leisure,' or ' Gleanings from my Leisure Hours,' 
would be the nearest approach. It is, as Mr. Porter's 
title makes clear, a collection of treatises on miscel- 
laneous subjects written by a fourteenth-century 
priest named Kenko, who lived the life of a recluse, 
without being able entirely to forgo the passions and 
desires of this world. 

Accounts vary as to his biography, and many of 
the anecdotes which have gathered around his life 
are to be looked upon with suspicion ; but so much 
seems to be certain that he was born at Yoshida, 
a north-eastern suburb of Kyoto, in 1281 — hence 
his lay name Yoshida no Kaneyoshi (Kaneyoshi is 
written with the same characters as Kenko) — in the 
time of the Emperor Go Uda, to whom he was 
greatly devoted and on whose death he retired from 
the world at the age of forty-two, and lived in quiet 
and solitude until death claimed him in 1350. The 
Tsure-zure Gusa was written about the years 1337-9. 
Thus, although very little is known about Kenko's 


life, yet what sort of a man he was can be sufficiently 
known from a perusal of his work. It may perhaps 
strike the reader that the jottings, seemingly made 
at random, have in places a decided connexion of 
ideas one section after another, a circumstance 
which renders reading particularly pleasing, and 
the effect is heightened by the adoption in the 
present version of headings to the sections. ^Jtmay 
also be noticed that in spite of the apparent incon- 
gruities found here and there, there is a thread — a 
golden thread one might say — running through the 
whole of the Tsure-zure Gusa, which, as Mr. Utsumi 
aptly points out, may well be ascribed to the 
author's endeavour to inculcate good taste in 
everything, a taste which is peculiarly Japanese. 

Taken altogether, the work may with fairness be 
regarded as representing the Japanese character 
and thought which, though the centuries have 
passed, have remained essentially unaltered. The 
type of man Kenko was — cool, yet inwardly quickly 
susceptible, inactive and highly unpractical, artistic 
and sarcastic, antiquarian in taste and conservative 
in thought — is still fairly common among the 
Japanese of the present day. 

This is, I think, why the book is still so widely 
read and liked among us, and I doubt not the present 
translation, if properly studied, willjofEer_.a key to 
a closer knowledge of the Japanese character. 

The sections forming the book are of very different 
value, and some of them might be left out without 


much loss, but to do that is not for a translator, 
and the present one did very well in having faithfully 
reproduced the whole where possible. 

It only remains to be said in closing that Mr. Porter 
has had, during his indefatigable work, the assistance 
of several Japanese successively, of whom I have 
the pleasure to be one, and so from my own personal 
knowledge I can vouch for the general accuracy of 
his rendering. But there is always one thing 
which can never appear in the best of translations, 
and that is the original charm of style and diction 
which in Kenko's case is so pre-eminently succinct 
and irresistible. And it is also lamentably true 
that nowhere else is a translation more difficult, at 
times impossible, than in the case of English and 
Japanese, a fact which every English reader of 
Japanese literature in translations is earnestly 
requested to bear in mind. 


June 25, 1914. 



My grateful thanks are due to those kindly- 
Japanese friends, without whose aid the present 
translation would never have been carried through. 
I have also been greatly assisted by Mr. G. B. San- 
som's translation published by the Asiatic Society 
of Japan, but was quite unaware of its existence 
until more than half of the present version was 

The Chinese quotations in the Notes have been 
transliterated in the Peking Dialect from Giles's 
Dictionary. The Japanese ranks and titles I have 
generally left untranslated, for we have no equiva- 
lents in English for the different grades of Nagons, 
Daijins, &c. The priestly ranks also, where trans- 
lated, can only be taken as approximately correct. 
The seven wood-cuts are reproduced by permission 
of the Publishers from Tsure-zure Gusa Kogi, which 
with Tsure-zure Gusa Hyd-shaku are the two editions 
upon which I have chiefly relied for the translation 
and notes. 

W, N. P. 


Facing pages 14, 20, 46, 72, 104, 134, 158. 


Leisurely I face my inkstone all day long, and 
without any particular object jot down the odds and 
ends that pass through my mind, with a curious feeling 
that I am not sane. 

One's Aim in Life 

Section 1. Well ! Being born into this world 
there are, I suppose, many aims which we may 
strive to attain. 

The Imperial Throne of the Mikado inspires us 
with the greatest awe ; even the uttermost leaf of 
the Imperial Family Tree is worthy of honour and 
very different from the rest of mankind. As to 
the position of a certain august personage (i.e. the 
Mikado's Regent) there can be no question, and 
those whose rank entitles them to a Palace Guard 
are very magnificent also — their sons and grandsons, 
even if they fall into poverty, are still gentlefolk. 
But when those who are of lower degree chance to 
rise in the world and assume an aspect of arrogance, 
though they may think themselves grand, it is very 

Now there is no life la so undesirable as that of 
a priest. Truly indeed did Sei Sho-nagon lb write, 


' People think of them as if they were only chips of 
wood.' Their savage violence and loud shouting 
does not show them to advantage, and I feel sure 
that, as the sage Zoga lc said, their desire for noto- 
riety is not in accordance with the sacred precepts 
of Buddha. To retire from the world in real earnest, 
on the contrary, is indeed praiseworthy, and some 
I hope there may be who are willing to do so. 

A man should preferably have pleasing features 
and a good style ; one never tires of meeting those 
who can engage in some little pleasant conversation 
and who have an attractive manner, but who are 
not too talkative. It is a great pity, however, if 
a man's true character does not come up to his pre- 
possessing appearance. One's features are fixed by 
nature ; but, if we wish to, may we not change our 
hearts from good to better ? For, if a man though 
handsome and good-natured has no real ability, his 
position will suffer, and in association with men of 
a less engaging aspect his deficiency will cause him 
to be thrown into the background, which is indeed 
a pity. 

The thing to aim at, therefore, is the path of true 
literature, the study of prose, poetry, and music ; 
to be an accepted authority for others on ancient 
customs and ceremonies is also praiseworthy. One 
who is quick and clever at writing and sketching, 
who has a pleasant voice, who can beat time to 
music, and who does not refuse a little wine, even 
though he cannot drink much, is a good man. 


Against Extravagance 
Section 2. Those who, forgetful of the precepts 
of the golden age of the wise men of old, know not 
when the people are in distress and the land suffering, 
and who are encumbered by thinking it no wrong 
to indulge in wild extravagance, seem to me sadly 
lacking in intelligence. ' Make full use of all that 
you have, from fine clothes to horses and carriages, 
but seek not to acquire new luxuries ' ; such were 
the dying words of Kujo Dono. 2a The ex-Emperor 
Juntoku 2b also wrote in reference to his Court, ' Be 
not too particular about the public offerings to the 

On a Man's Relations with Women 

Section 3. Though he may be perfect in many 
ways, a man who does not appreciate female beauty 
seems to me as unnatural as a beautiful wine bowl 
without a bottom. 

He, who is wet by the frozen dew while aimlessly 
wandering from the right way, is indeed ever rest- 
lessly puzzling how to smother the admonitions of 
his parents and the chidings of the world. Far 
better, however, is it to be such a man as this, who, 
as often as he has to sleep alone, tosses restlessly the 
whole night through. 

But still, be not too gay. To be thought by 
women rather a difficult man to get on with is the 


On Godliness 

Section 4. Let not your heart be forgetful of 
the future life. Enviable indeed is he who is not 
unfamiliar with the Way of Buddha. 

On a Life of Seclusion 

Section 5. Commendable is the man who, over- 
whelmed by calamity and sorrow, shaves his head — 
but not because of some silly whim of his own — 
shuts his door so that none may know whether he 
is within or not, and lives from break of day to set of 
sun without any human desires. I agree with 
Akimoto no Chu-nagon's 5 remark, ' It is as if one 
were gazing at the moon in some far distant place 
of exile, to which, however, no crime had banished 

Against Leaving any Descendants 

Section 6. Whatever rank I may attain to I my- 
self should prefer not to have a son ; and with 
much greater reason should the lower classes wish 
the same. H.R.H. the late Steward of the House- 
hold,^ the Prime Minister Kujo, and Hanazono no 
Sa-daijin all wished their lineage to become extinct. 
According to ' Ancestral Stories by an Old Man ', 
8 It was well for Somedono no Dai j in 6b that he had 
no son, for it is a terrible thing to leave inferior 
descendants.' And when, previous to his death, 
he was building his own tomb, did not Prince 


Shotoku 6c command, ' Break up the road and 
isolate the spot, for it is not my intention to leave 
any posterity ' ? 

Against a Prolonged Existence 

Section 7. The dew upon Adashi Moor never 
fades away, nor is Toribe Moor 7 ever free from 
smoke ; what a state of things we should have, 
were our existence never to be cut short ! There 
would be no feelings of pity left in the world. Far 
better is it to have no certainty as to the length of 

Of all living animals man alone seems to be 
endowed with a long life. Insects live only till 
the evening, and the summer locust certainly knows 
nothing of the spring or the autumn. Can there 
be anything better than to live for but one year in 
peaceful leisure ? 

We may think with regret that it is too short ; 
but if we lived for over a thousand years, they 
would seem but as a dream of a single night. What 
good is there in our limited existence, when we 
only grow more ill-favoured (each day) ? In a long 
life is increasing shame ; and no life however ex- 
tended can be better than to die at the age of forty. 

If a man exceeds this period, his general appear- 
ance becomes disgraceful, but having no heart to 
recognize it he still tries to mingle with others ; 
and, doting on his sons and grandsons in the evening 
of his day, he fondly hopes to live till he may see 


the twigs of his family tree in full bloom ; nor does 
he appreciate the pathos of earnestly coveting life 
with all his heart. This is indeed a miserable con- 
dition to get into. 

On Love 

Section 8. Nothing in life leads the heart of 
a man astray so much as love. And what a foolish 
thing the heart of a man is ! Such a thing as scent 
is only temporary ; yet, knowing well that clothes 
are scented by it only for a little time, an exquisite 
perfume never fails to put his heart in a flutter. 

Did not the fairy Kume lose his supernatural 
powers when he saw the white legs of a girl washing 
clothes ? And well he might, at the sight of the 
bare unpainted skin of those arms and legs beauti- 
fully glossy and plump ! 

On Women 

Section 9. It is the lovely hair of a woman which 
first attracts a man's eye ; but her station in life and 
disposition may be judged from the nature of her 
carelessly spoken words, though she be hidden behind 
a screen. Her slightest action, even when she 
innocently takes a seat, may lead a man's heart 
astray. In fact, when woman ceases to observe the 
conventionalities man can no longer sleep well, nor 
does he even value his own life ; he can also patiently 
carry out tasks otherwise impossible, but only in 
the hope of winning her love. 

Did not the fairy Kurae lose his supernatural powers when he 
saw the white legs of a girl washing clothes ? 

P. 14 


Deep down indeed are the roots of love, and far 
away is its source. Many are the pleasures of the 
six senses 9 and we ought to despise them all, but 
the hardest to resist is this one delusion. There 
seems to be no difference between the old or the 
young, the wise or the foolish. 

We have ever been taught that with a cord made 
of twisted woman's hair even a mighty elephant 
may easily be tethered, and that the stags in 
autumn will never fail to come in answer to a 
whistle made from a clog which has been worn by 
a girl. We should therefore admonish ourselves 
against this delusion and be very cautious and 

The Home and its Master 

Section 10. '^hough our home here is only a 
temporary resting-place, yet if it is charming and 
in good taste it will afford us some little pleasure. 

There, where a good man has his dwelling in peace, 
even the moonlight streaming in seems more than 
usually impressive ; and, though (the place) be 
not modern and magnificent, yet its old clump of 
trees, its garden plants not artificially trained but 
with a meaning of their own, its bench of bamboo, 
its well-adapted little hedge and its furniture placed 
naturally about recall the old ideals and give us an 
impression of charming tranquillity. 

But how sad and pitiful it is for the eye to see 
rare and valuable furniture of China and Japan, 


polished and finished by many an artist with the 
greatest skill, stiffly placed, with the plants and trees 
in the front garden trained in a meaningless fashion ! 
Well, indeed, none can live for ever, and a single 
glance tells me that all this will pass away like a puff 
of smoke. In fine, it is from his home that the 
owner's character may be surmised. 

(On the other hand 10 ) a command was once given 
in the Palace of Go Toku Daiji no Otodo, that the 
kites should no longer be allowed to perch there. 
And Saigyo, when he saw men stretching lines (to 
keep off the birds), said, * What is it to him if the 
kites do settle there ? Is that the sort of heart 
this nobleman has ? ' and after that he no longer 
went to pay his respects to him. On a subsequent 
occasion, when they were stretching similar lines 
on the roof of the Kosaka Palace where Prince 
Ay a no Koji lives, I was reminded of the incident ; 
but in this case the people told me, ' It is being done 
because His Royal Highness was so grieved to see 
the flocks of crows catching the frogs in the pond ' ; 
and I thought what a kindly sentiment it was. 
Now what had Toku Daiji in his mind (when he 
gave that order) ? 

A Charming Dwelling with one Defect 

Section 11. In the godless month 113, I was 

crossing Kurusu Moor to pay a visit in a mountain 

village, and while treading a narrow mossy path 

far away I came across the hut of one who was 


dwelling in solitude. There was nothing to break the 
stillness except the water dripping from a pipe buried 
in the fallen leaves. But on the Buddhist shrine 
were chrysanthemums and scattered autumn leaves, 
a sign that somebody must indeed be living there. 
I sympathized with such a simple life as this ; 
but, as I looked round, I rather regretted an over- 
grown orange tree llb I saw in the garden there with 
branches bending down, rigorously surrounded and 
fenced in ; and I wished there had been no tree 
there at all. 

On Three Kinds of Acquaintances 
Section 12. How pleasant 12 it would be, if I could 
amuse myself by a quiet chat and a frank discussion, 
either on cheerful matters or on the uncertainty of 
life, with a friend whose heart was in complete 
accord with my own. But such a man there cannot 
be ; and if I found myself seated opposite to one, 
whom (I did not know well enough) to offer the 
slightest contradiction to, should I not feel as if 
I were alone ? 

If I might converse with one who, though each 
would be willing to hear what the other had to say 
with due respect and appreciation, was a man with 
whom I might have some little difference of opinion, 
such as, ' Indeed I do not think so,' or a warm alter- 
cation, such as, 'It certainly is as I say,' then I 
fancy my leisure time might be somewhat enlivened. 
But the truth is such a man, who would be perhaps 

PP 817 B 


inclined to wrangle when he did not exactly agree 
with me, would avail me only for a discussion on 
trivial matters ; for sad indeed is it when true- 
hearted friends are by any difference estranged. 

On Reading 
Section 13. Nothing is more refreshing than to 
make friends with those who are no longer to be seen 
in this life by means of an open book, a lamp, and 
solitude. For books there are the excellent volumes 
of Monzen, the Hakushi Bunju, 1 * the writings of 
Laotsu and the Book of Nankwa ; many works by 
scholars of our own country who lived long ago are 
also good. 

On Poetry 

Section 14. But more delightful still is Japanese 
verse. When put into poetry even the toil of the 
poor humble mountaineer is made beautiful, and 
the terrible wild pig sounds gentle when called 
' the lair-crouching boar '. As for modern poetry, 
I admit that a single line may have some merit ; 
but, apart from the words, there is no deep meaning 
in it, as there is in the work of the old masters. 

Tsurayuki's 14a expression : 

Ito ni yoru 
Mono naranaku ni 

has been condemned as the poorest in the Kokinshu ; 
yet I do not think such a verse could be made by 
men nowadays. There were many verses then 
with expressions and wording of that kind, and 


I hardly know why this particular one was criticized 

thus. In the Genji Monogatari, however, (the 

second line) is written 

Mono to wa nashi ni. 

In the Shinkokin, too, there is a much criticized 

verse, 14b which runs : 

Nokoru matsu sae But the lonely pine lives on 

Mine ni sabishiki Pining still for one that 's gone, 

and in truth this sort of thing does sound rather 
paltry. However, at the time of the Poetical Con- 
vocation the verse was adjudged to be good, and 
later on it received a special Imperial compliment, 
as is recorded in Ienaga's Diary. 

Some say that as far as poetic style is concerned 
modern verses have altered not at all from those of 
the olden days, and that even now similar words 
and pillow- words 14c are in use ; but still they are 
not quite the same as those of the old poets. The 
latter were simple and easily understood, their style 
was pure and full of deep meaning. 

Many are the melodious words in the Ryojin 
Hisho 14d which will also, I think, command our 
approval. The phrases of the old poets, however 
carelessly put together, were always good. 

On Rustic Life 

Section 15. Again, our sympathies are aroused 

by taking a little trip, no matter where. While 

wandering here and there in the neighbourhood 

one comes across many a thing of interest in rustic 

B 2 


spots and mountain villages. But it is as well to 
take every opportunity of dispatching letters to the 
Capital, so as to send word, 6 Do not forget this or 
that thing when occasion offers ' ; for in such 
places as these one has many cares and perplexities. 
Here, even one's belongings look better than before, 
and a capable man is more useful than ever. 

To shut oneself up, however, in some Buddhist or 
Shinto shrine has also its enjoyments. 

On Music 

Section 16. A graceful kagura dance is very 
delightful. Among musical instruments generally 
I love best the pipe and flageolette, but ever listen 
with pleasure to the lute and harp also. 

On a Mountain Retreat 
Section 17. But seclusion 17 in a mountain temple 
in devout and unwearied attendance upon the Gods 
will cause even an impure heart to feel cleansed. 

The Simple Life 

Section 18. It is best for a man to be thrifty, 
to shrink from luxuries, not to accumulate great 
wealth, and not to covet the whole world. The great 
men of ancient times were seldom rich. 

In China there was once a man called Kyo Yu 
who had no possessions of any kind ; and somebody, 
on seeing him drink water by scooping it up in his 
hand, gave him a gourd. But he hung it up on the 

Somebody, on seeing him drink water by scooping it up 
in his hand, gave him a gourd. 


branch of a tree, where it made such a noise blowing 
about in the wind that he threw it away, and once 
more drank water from his hands. How refreshed 
his heart within must have felt ! Again, Sonshin, 
having no quilt in the winter months, got a bundle of 
straw, which he lay on at night and put carefully 
on one side in the morning. 

The Chinese think these men good examples to 
copy, so they are remembered and often quoted ; 
but here nobody ever thinks of mentioning them. 

The Four Seasons 

Section 19. As the seasons change from time to 
time our emotions are touched by each one of them. 

All will admit, 4 the pathos of life 19a is deepest 
in autumn,' as indeed it is ; but a spring landscape, 
on the contrary, makes the heart particularly cheer- 
ful. The songs of the birds are a special feature of 
spring ; and, as the plants in the hedges sprout anew 
in the genial sunshine, little by little the season 
advances, the mists spread abroad, and the blossoms 
at last show themselves. But just then the rainy 
breezes come on and our hearts are distracted by 
the scattering of the petals ; sad indeed do we feel, 
until the green leaves appear. The orange blossom 
has a great reputation, but it is the perfume of the 
plum which sends our thoughts lovingly back to 
the days of old. The purity of the kerria also and 
the waving beauty of the wistaria — no one of all 
these can we banish from our thoughts. 


About the time of Buddha's Birthday and the 
Kamo Festival, 1913 when the twigs are delightfully 
cool with an abundance of green leaves, 'tis said 
that our enjoyment of life and love of companionship 
are strongest, and so indeed they are. In the fifth 
month the roofs are covered with irises, the young 
rice shoots are transplanted, and the water-rails 
chirp. Does not this touch the heart ? In the sixth 
month the pale evening gourds and the smoke rising 
from mosquito fires in humble cottages arouse our 
sympathies. In the sixth month also the Shinto 
services are very beautiful. 

Then how charming is the Tanabata festival ! 19c 
At last when the nights grow chilly comes the cry of 
the wild geese, and when the underleaves of the bush- 
clover colour, the early rice is cut and dried in the 
fields. Many are the charms like these in autumn ; 
but how terrible is the morning after a hurricane ! 

To continue — these were all written of long ago in 
the Genji Monogatari and Makura no Soshi ; but 
that does not prevent me from speaking of them 
again. My feelings would suffocate me if I did not 
express them ; so I let my pen run on, though 
they are but the emptiest of ideas, only fit to be 
thrown away, and not worthy of being looked at by 

Well, the bleak wintry landscape has a charm 
scarcely inferior to that of autumn. The crimson 
maple leaves lying scattered upon the grass at the 
lake-side, covered in the morning by the whitest 


of hoar-frost, and the vapour rising from the water- 
pipes 19d are very lovely. 

As the year draws to an end everybody is busy, 
it is the most affecting time of all. The sky, too, 
after the twentieth day of the month with its 
terribly cold, clear moon, which none care to watch, 
is simply heart-breaking. Then the stimulating 
and touching honourable ceremonies, such as 
Calling the Names of the Buddhas, Presenting the 
First Fruits to the Ancestors, 196 and so forth, 
carried out while also hurriedly preparing for the 
coming spring are indeed beautiful ; and no sooner 
is the ceremony of driving out the devils concluded 
than the Emperor makes his obeisance 19f to all the 
four quarters. This also is very grand. 

On the last night 19 s of the year, when it is very 
dark, with blazing pine torches people run about till 
past midnight knocking at the doors. What can it 
be for ? With loud cries their restless feet are ever 
on the move ; but yet when the day breaks there is 
not a sound. How touching is the year's farewell ! 

The Feast of the Dead, the night when the dead 
return, is kept up no longer in the Capital, though 
in the Eastern Provinces it is still observed. Is not 
this a pity ? 

Then as the day gradually dawns, though the 
prospect looks no different from yesterday, our 
feelings are strangely altered ; and our emotions 
are pleasantly aroused by viewing the streets and 
the gay pine decorations. 


The Beauty of the Sky 

Section 20. What recluse was it who said, 
4 Though I am not fettered to this life, yet I grudge 
having to bid adieu to the sky ' ? Such, indeed, 
should be our feeling also. 

The Charm of Nature 

Section 21. In many cases it is helpful to gaze 
at the moon. But one man will say, ' Nothing 
else can ever be so beautiful ! ' while another will 
insist, ' The dew is far more emotional.' But that 
is rather an absurd discussion, for whatever suits 
the particular occasion touches the feelings most. 
'Tis needless to speak of the moonlight on the 
blossoms. A man's heart may be touched by the 
breeze alone ; 21a and in all seasons alike there is 
a charm in a landscape of clear flowing water break- 
ing over the rocks. 

Does it not arouse our sympathy to read the 
Chinese verse : 21b 

Gen Sho nichi ya higashi The Gen and Sho flow 

ni nagare-saru, ever to the east, 

Shu j in no tame ni todomaru But never stop, the cap- 

koto shibaraku mo sezu. tive to console. 

Keiko says that it delights the heart to watch the 
birds and fishes while wandering amid the hills and 
rivers. Will not our hearts therefore be cheered by 
a lonely ramble in places far from humanity where 
weeds grow in the pure water ? 


The Old is Better than the New 
Section 22. Whatever we have of the life of old is 
worthy of admiration ; for there is nothing more 
vulgar than modern conceptions. The artist in 
woodwork nowadays truly fashions a beautiful 
object, but the workmanship of the past generations 
is far more perfect. 

Even the discarded written words and expressions 
of the olden times were better, and the everyday 
words of the present are becoming very poor. Of 
old they said, 6 Kuruma motage-yo'' (Take up the 
carriage), and ' Hi kakage-yo ' (Raise the lamp wick) ; 
but now men say, ' Mote age~yo ' (Pick it up) and 
6 Kaki age-yo ' (Poke it up). The Palace officials 
ought to say, * Ninzu tote ' (Let the servants arise 
and do their duty) ; but now it is just, ' Tachi-akashi 
shiroku se-yo ' (Light up brightly). And when the 
sacred books are read in the audience chamber, they 
should call it c Go Ko no Ro ' (Chamber of the 
August Explanation), but they say only ' Ko Ro ' 
(Explanation Chamber). Somebody, rather old- 
fashioned perhaps, says that all this is much to be 

On Old Forms Retained in the Palace 

Section 23. This world is declining to its end, 
as I have just said, but there is cause for satisfaction 
in the fact that the venerable Palace is still uncon- 
taminated by the outer world. ' Rotai ' (the Dew 


Terrace), c Asagarei ' (the Breakfast Chamber), and 
many other buildings and gateways have a dignified 
sound ; and ' ko-jitomi ' (little lifting shutter), 
6 ko-itajiki ' (floor of narrow boards), and ' taka- 
yarido ' (tall sliding door), though such things are also 
to be found in humble cottages, still sound elegant. 

1 Jin ni yoru no moke se-yo ' (Prepare for night 
in the Guard Room) is a becoming expression ; but 
for the Imperial Bed-room at night 'tis best to say 
1 Kaitomoshi, to-yo ' (Provide night-lights). It is 
scarcely necessary to add that the Officers of the 
Guard perform their duties in a befitting manner ; 
and it is satisfactory to see how impressed even the 
lower officials look with their responsibility, and 
how all through the cold night they sleep here and 
there in odd corners (so as to be ready if required). 

1 Wonderfully sweet is the tone of the bell in the 
Palace Temple.' So said the Prime Minister Toku 

The Shinto Temple 

Section 24. Do we not feel how exceedingly 
charming and beautiful it is for the virgin Princess 
to dwell in the holy temple far out on the wild moors? 
It is to be noted that she avoids such words 24 as 
1 Kyo ' (Buddhist sacred books) and ' Hotoke ' 
(Buddha), using instead 6 Somegami ' (Shinto sacred 
books) and ' Nakago ' (the Soul). 

How enchantingly lovely is a temple of the 
Shinto Gods ! The prospect of its clump of old trees 
is wonderful enough in itself ; but when surrounded 


by a sacred fence, and when its cleyera trees are 
decorated with hangings, it is more lovely still. Very 
beautiful spots are Ise, Kamo, Kasuga, Hirano, 
Sumiyoshi, Miwa, Kibune, Yoshida, Ohara No, 
Matsu no O, and Mume no Miya. 

On the Vanity of Providing for the Future 

Section 25. Life, like the eddies and rapids of 
Asuka River, is ever changing. Time flies, things 
pass away, pleasures and sorrows come and go, and 
what was once a fashionable neighbourhood turns 
into a wild uninhabited moor. Or if the houses do 
not alter, their inhabitants do ; and, as the peaches 
and plums are unable to speak, with what friends 25 
can we talk about the days of old ? More fleeting 
still are the honoured remains of ancient times that 
our eyes have never seen. 

How sad it is to see buildings like the Kyogoku 
Palace and the Hojo Temple, which were intended to 
be permanent, now fallen into decay ! Mido Dono 
built them very magnificently and endowed them 
with great property, thinking that as his family 
was the Mikado's guardian it would rule the world 
and preserve them for all time. How could he have 
guessed that in any future age they could ever fall 
into such ruins as this ? The Great Gateway and 
the Golden Hall remained up to recent times ; but 
in the showa period (a.d. 1312-17) the South Gate 
was burnt. After that the Golden Hall fell to the 
ground and nobody has rebuilt it ; now, all that 


remains of them is the Muryoju Temple. The nine 
images of Buddha, 16 feet high, all very much 
venerated, are still standing in line ; also the tablet 
painted by Kozei Dai-nagon and the door painted 
by Kaneyuki look as fresh as ever, a touching sight. 
The Hokke Hall is still there, but how long will it 
remain ? Of other places not even such ruins as 
these are left, and from the foundations alone nobody 
can ever be expected to know what they once were. 
From all this we may learn how vain it is to make 
plans for the unknown future. 

Regret for the Quickly Passing Years 

Section 26. When we cast our thoughts back to 
those friends of long ago, whose hearts, like the 
blossoms, were to 5 change and fade away ' c ere yet 
shaken by the breeze ', 26a we recall with regret each 
word of theirs we then heard ; and the fact that they 
have now all passed out of our lives seems more 
melancholy even than parting from those who are dead . 

Ah well ! do we not ever lament when a white 
thread is coloured, 2615 and grieve when friends are 
separated at the parting of the ways ? 

Among the Hundred Verses of the ex-Emperor 
Horikawa is this : 

Mukashi mishi It was long ago 

Imo ga kakine wa That we wooed a lovely maid 

Are ni keri In the garden here ; 

Tsubana majiri no Now the weeds and violets both 

Sumire no mishite. Mingle in uncultured growth. 


Should we not feel the same at such a desolate 
prospect ? 

On Resigning the Throne 

Section 27. When the ceremony of resigning the 
throne takes place and the Sword, the Jewel, and 
the Sacred Mirror are delivered up, there indeed 
is infinite pathos. Did not the late Emperor (Hana- 
zono), the spring after his resignation, sing the 
following verse ? 

Tonomori no All the serving men 

Tomo no mi yatsuko In attendance and on guard 

Yoso nishite Having disappeared, 

Harawanu niwa ni From my garden paths to-day 

Hana zo chiri-shiku. None have swept the petals gay. 

Engrossed by the many concerns of the new reign 
nobody went to the ex-Emperor's Palace, which was 
left therefore forlorn. 

By an incident such as this the hearts of men are 
well displayed. 

On the Death of the Emperor 

Section 28. Shall we not be touched, also, by the 
period of mourning for the death of an Emperor ? 
The very look of the august mortuary building, the 
wooden floor flush with the ground, the rush blinds 
with crested coarse cotton borders hung up, the 
plain furnishings, and everything, uniforms, swords 
and even sword-strings different from usual. All 
this is very impressive. 


On Relics of the Past 

Section 29. When wrapped in calm meditation, 
one thinks lovingly of countless incidents of the 
past now beyond recall. 

Sometimes, when all others are at rest, to amuse 
myself through the long night I put in order my 
odds and ends ; and, as I throw away the rubbish 
which I do not wish to be left, if I come across any 
writing or amusing sketches by one who is gone, I 
cannot help thinking of the days now passed away. 
Even though the writer be still alive, if they were done 
long ago, it is pathetic to recall the time and the 

For anything which has been used long ago and 
still remains unchanged, even though it is not living 
itself, touches one deeply. 

On the Death of a Friend 

Section 30. Nothing is so sad as the period 
following a person's death. 

During the forty-nine days of mourning we retire 
to (a shrine in) a wild mountain village or some little 
secluded spot hard to get at, and there with many 
others our hearts are thrilled by the services for 
the dead. The days pass all too quickly, and at 
the end of this very sorrowful time, none daring to 
speak to any one else, we speedily put away the 
things and prepare to disperse. But on returning 
to our homes there is much there to remind us anew 


of our grief. 4 Dear, dear ! But for the sake of 
those who are left one must not speak of it.' To 
say this sort of thing in the midst of so much sorrow 
makes men seem even more unfeeling still. 

Though he is by no means forgotten as the years 
and months pass by, still as has been truly said, 
1 Those who are gone become day by day more 
like strangers,' 30a and we begin to get over the shock 
we have had, to talk trivialities and even to smile. 
The empty shell is buried amid the desolate moun- 
tains, and the grave is visited only on certain fixed 
days. Soon the memorial tablet covered with 
moss becomes buried in leaves fallen from the trees, 
and only the evening storm and the night moon 
take the trouble to ask after it. 

During the life of the mourners (the dead) will 
be affectionately remembered, but soon all memory 
of him will be lost. Is it to be supposed that suc- 
ceeding generations knowing him only by hearsay 
will grieve for him ? And then, when nobody at all 
is left to ask about him, who will even know of his 
name ? Men of feeling are sympathetic enough for 
the spring herbage which grows from year to year, 
but in the end the poor pine tree 30b also sobbing 
in the gale lasts not for its proverbial 1,000 years, 
but is cut up for firewood, and the old tomb ploughed 
up into a field disappears, alas ! altogether. 


An Old Letter 

Section 31. One morning after a beautiful snow- 
fall I sent a letter to a friend's house about some- 
thing I wished to say, but said nothing at all about 
the snow. And in his reply he wrote, ' How can 
I listen to a man so base that his pen in writing did 
not make the least reference to the snow ! Your 
honourable way of expressing yourself I exceedingly 
regret.' How amusing was this answer ! 

Now that the writer is no more I shall never fail to 
recall even this little incident. 

A Man of Culture 

Section 32. On the twentieth day of the ninth 
month I was invited by a friend to go for a walk 
with him to view the moon till daybreak ; and on 
the way we came to a place where he wished to call, 
so he knocked and was ushered in. Amid the 
heavy dew of the garden unspoiled by cultivation 
a sweet perfume stealing upon the air, which was 
not specially provided for us, showed me that it was 
a man of taste and culture who dwelt there in 

Iti due time my friend reappeared ; but, as I was 
so charmed with the refinement of the place, we hid 
behind something and soon saw the owner push his 
door open a little to gaze at the moon-lit landscape. 
Would it not have been a pity if he had shut up 


(the house) at once ? And how could he possibly 
tell that anybody was watching him ? 

A slight incident like this showed that he culti- 
vated his good taste day and night alike. But, alas ! 
I hear that this man is just recently dead. 

An Example of Critical Observation 
Section 33. When the present Palace had just 
been completed, the skilled authorities inspected it 
and agreed that it was correct to the smallest 
detail. The day of removal was already drawing 
near when Genki Mon In 33 looked at it and cleverly 
said, c The shape of the semicircular window in the 
Kan In Palace was round, and it had no rim.' So 
the indentations in the semicircle and the wooden 
border which had been put there by mistake were 
thereupon rectified. 

The Kaiko Shell 

Section 34. The kaiko is a kind of conch shell, 
quite small, and it has an operculum closing its 
attenuated mouth. It is found on the beach $t 
Kanazawa in the Province of Musashi, and the 
country folk there call it henatari. 

On Writing Letters 

Section 35. It is a good thing to scribble letters 
freely even if your handwriting is poor ; for it is 
tiresome to have to get them written by others on 
account of your own bad writing. 

PP817 c 


A Tactful Message 

Section 36. There was a lady with whom I had 
long been in correspondence, but whom I had 
recently neglected ; and, with a guilty feeling that 
she might feel some resentment, I knew not how to 
apologize. How glad and grateful I was when she 
sent me this message : 6 I am in want of a servant, 
do you know of one ? ' 

Somebody says that those with hearts like this 
are very lovable, as indeed they are. 

On Occasional Formality 

Section 37. Old friends, 37 who have for long 
been very intimate with me, seem on occasion to feel 
a certain restraint in my presence ; and though 
there are some who say that it should not be so, yet 
I think it is quite correct for a man of true breeding. 
It is also, I imagine, right and proper for total 
strangers to speak sometimes with perfect freedom. 

On the Vanity of Human Desires 

Section 38. He who afflicts his whole life by 
spending it in the pursuit of riches and fame, leaving 
himself no leisure for quiet, is but a fool. 

However great his wealth may be, he is still too 
poor to safeguard himself ; for his money is an agent 
which will only buy him misfortune and call in 
affliction. He may ' pile up his gold even 38a to 
the Great Bear ', but his heirs after his death will 



have great anxieties, and he will soon weary of 
taking delight only in rejoicing the eyes of silly 
people. Though his carriages are big, his horses 38b 
fat, and he himself is adorned with gold and jewels, 
wise men will think him but a sad fool. * Let him 
throw away 38c his gold among the mountains and 
fling his jewels into the deepest pool,' for there is 
no greater simpleton than he who is blinded by 

Some men hope that, as their fame is not buried 
with them, it will remain long after they are dead. 
But could we say that a man had excelled because 
he had acquired high rank and great honour ? For 
however ignorant and foolish he is, if he comes of 
a good family or has good luck, he may rise to high 
rank and lead a life of luxury. The Wise Man 
(Mencius) and the Sage (Confucius), both very 
worthy, were themselves content with low rank; 
and many others also die without ever having 
a chance of becoming great. So that he who 
earnestly strives for high rank and office comes 
next in foolishness. 

Others again aim at leaving behind them in the 
world the very best reputation for their capabilities 
and kindliness. Yet on thinking it over carefully 
we find that this desire for fame is in reality love of 
praise. Those who may praise or blame, however, 
will not long be alive themselves, and those who may 
know of them by repute will soon be gone also. 
Whose censure, therefore, (need you fear) and 



whose commendation can you wish for ? Moreover, 
praise leads only to blame. Therefore to leave 
a good name behind one is quite profitless, and he 
who aims at it comes next in foolishness. 

If I may add a word of advice to those who seek 
persistently for knowledge and crave for learning — 
cleverness is productive of cunning and the worldly 
lusts are increased by ability. Knowledge gained 
by study and by listening to what is taught by 
others is not the true wisdom. Then what can we 
say is wisdom ? for right and wrong are inextricably 
mixed together. And what can we say is good- 
ness ? A true man is above all (standards of) wisdom, 
virtue, ability, or reputation. Who can properly 
appreciate him now, or hereafter ? Not because he 
hides his virtues or pretends to be foolish, but because 
his whole existence is altogether beyond the limits 
of wisdom or folly, riches or poverty. 

I have already written of the pursuit of riches and 
fame with an infatuated mind. Not only these 
but all things are profitless ; not worth speaking of, 
not worth wishing for. 

Three Maxims by the Rev. Honen 

Section 39. A certain man once said to the Rev. 
Honen, 39 c As I am often attacked while at prayer 
by sleepiness, I find that I am remiss in my religious 
devotions ; what should I do to put a stop to this 
hindrance ? ' And he was answered by the very 


excellent advice, ' Fail not to pray as long as your 
eyes are awake.' 

On another occasion he was told, * If you set your 
mind upon entering Paradise, you will attain it ; but 
if not, you will not. 5 And this is another estimable 

And again, ' If you continue to pray, even though 
harassed by doubts, you will attain Paradise,' which 
is also an excellent maxim. 

A Rustic Maiden 

Section 40. In the Province of Inaba the daughter 
of a certain lay-priest was much sought after by 
many men, for she was noted for her beauty. But 
the damsel 40 ate nothing but chestnuts, never 
touching any kind of rice, and her parents refused 
their consent, saying that a girl so different from 
others ought not to look at any man. 

An Incident at a Horse-Race 

Section 41. On the fifth day of the fifth month 
while I was watching the horse-race at Kamo, the 
rabble got in front of the carriages, and, as it was 
impossible to see, we all got out to make our way to 
the fence ; but the crowd was so great we could not 
manage to push through. Just at that moment 
I noticed a priest who had climbed up into a lilac 
tree opposite and was seated carelessly in a fork of 
the branches. He was painfully dozing off as he 
clung to his perch, and again and again just awoke 


as he was about to fall. The people seeing this 
mocked and jeered at him, saying, ' There is the 
biggest fool in the world, to sleep like that with an 
easy mind on such a dangerous branch ! ' A sudden 
thought came into my mind and I said, 'Are not we 
also, even at this moment, on the verge of eternity ? 
Yet unmindful of this we are spending the day in 
sight-seeing. If he is foolish, we are still more so.' 
On this all the people in front agreed, ' That is 
indeed true ! we are exceedingly foolish ' ; and 
looking back they made room for us and invited us 
to come forward, saying, * Please step this way.' 

Anybody might have thought of this kind of 
moralizing, but to hear it so unexpectedly at that 
moment cut them to the heart. Men are not made 
of wood or stone, and they are therefore on occasion 
not unmoved by this sort of remark. 

The Sickness of Archdeacon Gyoga 

Section 42. Archdeacon Gyoga, the son of General 
Karabashi, was a priest and a Buddhist teacher. 

When he was well advanced in years, he was taken 
ill by the rising of his humours, and the centre of his 
nose was obstructed, so that he drew his breath 
with difficulty. He tried many remedies, but only 
grew worse, and his eyes, eyebrows, and forehead 
swelled up all in one to such an extent that he was 
unable to see. He looked simply terrible, as if he 
wore the mask of a Ni-no-mai dancer ; or like a devil 
with eyes set at the top of its head, and whose face 


is nothing but nose ; so that after that he could no 
longer be seen, even by the people of the temple. 

He lived thus for a whole year in seclusion, and 
becoming worse and worse he at last died. What 
a terrible disease was that ! 

A Cultivated Man at Home 

Section 43. It was the end of spring ; the sky 
was calm and lovely, and at a charming house 
hidden far back in a grove of old trees it would have 
been hard indeed for me to pass by without noticing 
the withered blossoms scattered over the garden. 
As I entered, I noticed that on the south side the 
lattice shutters were all let down, so that the place 
looked deserted ; but on the east the door was half 
open, and I saw through a tear in the bamboo blind 
a man of well-bred appearance, perfectly self-pos- 
sessed, though only some twenty years of age, refined 
and composed, with a book spread open on the table 
before him. 

Now, who could this be ? How I wished I could 
find out ! 

On Refinement even in the Country 

Section 44. Streaming 44 in through an exquisite 
bamboo door the moonlight shone upon a very young 
man ; and though it did not show him clearly, yet 
from his handsome hunting jacket and dark-coloured 
trousers he was evidently no ordinary person. 
With a little child as his sole companion he then 


wandered away along the narrow paths of far away 
fields, getting soaked in the dew upon the rice leaves, 
and amused himself by playing a flute too beautifully 
for words, little thinking that there was anybody 
within hearing to appreciate it. Wondering where 
he was going, I followed him, and he stopped playing 
as he entered a temple gate at the foot of the hills. 
A carriage was to be seen standing in the rack, and 
this touch of gentility caught my eye more than it 
would have done had it been in. the Capital. A ser- 
vant whom I asked said, ' This is the occasion when 
some member of the Imperial Family is to attend 
a Buddhist service.' 

Priests were passing to and fro in the holy temple, 
and the odour of incense wafted by the chilly 
evening breeze pierced me through and through. 
The faint breath of perfume caused by a lady-in- 
waiting as she passed along the verandah of the 
temple from the Imperial Apartments and the 
modest way in which she walked showed a refine- 
ment one would hardly have expected in a mountain 
village shut off from the eye of man. 

It was autumn, and the moor was growing wild, 
covered with unusually heavy dew ; while the 
droning of insects and the gurgling of the garden 
stream sounded peaceful. It was hard to say 
definitely whether the moon was clear or cloudy, 
for the clouds seemed to be driven across the sky 
far more quickly than in the Capital. 


An Unworthy Prelate 

Section 45. Bishop Ryogaku, the elder brother 
of Kinyo no Nii, is reputed to have been a very 
ill-tempered man. 

Near his temple was a large nettle tree, and the 
people accordingly called him ' Bishop Nettle '. He 
had the tree cut down, so that he might no longer 
be called by that name ; but, as the roots were still 
there, they called him ' Bishop Tree-stump \ This 
made him more angry than ever, and he had the 
stump dug up and thrown away. But, as it left 
a large hole (which filled with water), he was called 
' Bishop Dug-out-pond '. 

A Worthy Priest 

Section 46. There was once a priest who lived 
near Yanagi Wara who was nicknamed ' the Right 
Reverend Highwayman '. But in this case it was 
because he was so often encountered by highwaymen 
that he got his name. 

A Faithful Nurse 

Section 47. A certain man who was on pilgrimage 
to Kiyomizu was travelling in company with an 
aged nun, who kept saying, ' Kusame, kusame,' as 
she walked along. He therefore asked, c Why does 
your Reverend Ladyship say that ? ' but she gave 
him no reply. As she still continued to say it, he 
asked again and again, till she began to get angry 


and replied, ' They say that any one who begins to 
sneeze may die, if it is not charmed away by saying 
this ; and as I am the nurse of my young master 
who is at present on Mount Hiei, I say it for fear he 
may even now be sneezing.' 

What an excellent motive, therefore, was hers ! 

A Conscientious Librarian 
Section 48. Mitsuchika no Kyo, whose duty it 
was to superintend the ceremony of reading the 
sacred books to the ex-Emperor, was once summoned 
to His Majesty's presence, where a repast was pro- 
vided of which he was invited to partake. When 
about to retire, he put his remains of uneaten food 
behind the screen. The ladies-in-waiting said to 
each other, ' Ah, how untidy ! Who is going to 
clear that away ? ' But this action of the learned 
gentleman was highly praised 48 by His Majesty as 
most right and proper. 

On Impending Death 

Section 49. * Do not wait for on-coming 49 old 
age to begin setting out upon the Way. Most of 
the ancient tombs are those of young people.' 

When you are unexpectedly taken ill and (realize 
that you) must now leave this world, you begin to 
feel remorse for what is past and gone. And when 
I say ' remorse ', I mean nothing but this — regret 
for what you have done in your past life, the hesita- 
tion where action should have been taken at once, 


and the precipitation where a little delay would have 
been better. But by that time of what use will your 
regrets be ? 

One should keep steadfastly in mind, therefore, 
that the body is hastening on to dissolution, and 
never lose sight of this even for a moment. And 
if you do this, will not the impurity of this life begin 
to clear and the heart become more virtuous while 
diligently following the Way of Buddha ? 

It is recorded in the Zenrin no Jii-in that there 
was once a wise man of old, who, when people came 
to ask him of business matters concerning themselves 
and others, made answer, ' I am at the moment 
engaged in a business matter which will brook no 
delay, as it may become critical at any moment.' 
And stopping his ears he prayed, until at last he 
attained paradise. 

Again, another sage, called Shinkai, being firmly 
convinced that this life is but a transient one, spent 
all his days without intermission crouched down 
upon his knees in silent prayer. 

A Woman who Turned into a Devil 

Section 50. It is said that during the ocho period 
(a.d. 1311-12) a man came up to the Capital from 
Ise Province, bringing with him a woman who had 
turned into a devil. For some twenty days from 
then the people of the city and Shirakawa were 
beguiled out each day to see this devil ; for report 
said, ' Yesterday it was at the Saion Temple ! to-day 


it may go to the Palace ! and now it is somewhere 
over there ! ' Nobody said he had actually seen it, 
and nobody said it was all a fabrication, but both 
upper and lower classes talked of nothing else. 

Just about that time I chanced to be going from 
Higashi-yama to the vicinity of the Agu Temple, 
and everybody above the Fourth Avenue was 
hurrying northward, all shouting together that the 
devil was at the corner of the First Avenue and 
Muro Street. As I looked from Imade-gawa all 
about the Palace frontage was so crowded that the 
traffic was entirely stopped. Thinking there must 
surely be some visible pretext for this, I sent a man 
to see, but he found nothing of any moment. 

The commotion continued till the evening, and 
in the end strife broke out and some foolish things 
were done. About this time also it chanced that 
several people fell ill for two or three days, which 
was affirmed to be a sure proof that this devil had 
been working mischief. 

A Defective Water-wheel 

Section 51. A farmer of Oi was ordered to arrange 
a water-supply from the Oi River for the pond of 
the Kameyama Palace ; so he constructed a water- 
wheel. He spent much money and worked hard 
for several days at it, but there was something wrong 
with it and it would not go round. He tried all 
sorts of alterations, but as it stilly would not revolve 
he had at last to give it up. Thereupon a villager 


from 51 Uji was sent for, who easily fastened it and 
put it right, so that it revolved as it should have 
done and delivered the water satisfactorily. 

It is best in every case to employ those who are 
proficient at the business. 

A Pilgrim's Mistake 

Section 52. In the Ninna Temple was a priest 
who had never worshipped at Iwashimizu, though 
he was then an old man ; so once, when he felt sad 
at heart about it, he resolved to walk thither on 
pilgrimage all alone. He prayed at the Temple of 
Paradise and at the Kora shrines, and thinking that 
they were all he turned 52 back home again. 

Then, meeting a bystander, he said, ' I have at 
last accomplished what I have wished to do for 
many a year, and the grandeur of the temple sur- 
passed even what I had heard ! By the way, each 
pilgrim, I noticed, climbed the hill for some reason 
or other. I felt tempted to do the same ; but, as 
my only object was to worship the Gods, I did not 
try to see the mountain also.' 

Thus even in small matters it is best to have an 
experienced guide. 

The Priests' Wine Party 

Section 53. Now the priests of this same Ninna 
Temple (gave a feast) to bid farewell to a boy who 
was about to enter the priesthood. The whole com- 
pany in playful mood became intoxicated, and (the 


boy) in an excess of jollity seized a three-legged pot 
which was standing near, put it on his head, and in 
spite of being half suffocated he flattened his nose, 
forced it down over his face, and began to dance, 
to the infinite amusement of the entire assembly. 

After a little, when the music was over, he tried 
to pull it off, but found that he could not manage 
it. The wine party came to their senses and were 
much puzzled what to do. They tried various 
expedients and twisted it round his head till the 
blood came ; but the only result was that (his face) 
swelled and swelled, so that he could hardly breathe. 
They then tried to break it, but it was not an easy 
thing to do. The noise must have been terrible for 
him, but it was all in vain. So, as there was nothing 
else to do, they threw a veil over the three legs of the 
pot, took him by the hand, gave him a stick, and 
led him to the house of a doctor in the Capital ; 
but there was no end to the wonder of the people 
they met on the road. How strange he must have 
looked, as he rushed into the doctor's house and stood 
there ! And moreover when he spoke, the sound of 
his muffled voice could not be heard. 

(The doctor) said, ' No case of this kind is to be 
found in my books, and there is no recognized treat- 
ment for it ' ; so they returned once more to the 
Ninna Temple. But I am afraid he could not hear 
the cries and lamentations of his friends and of his 
poor old mother who gathered around his pillow. 

While this was going on somebody said, ' If only 

(The boy) in an excess of jollity seized a three-legged pot which was 
standing near, put it on his head, . . . and began to dance. 



his nose and ears are sacrificed, his life at least may 
be saved ; so let us just pull with all our might.' 
Some ends of straw were pushed in all round to keep 
off the metal, and in pulling they nearly tore his head 
off, but managed to set him free, though his nose and 
ears were entirely scraped away. 

Saved thus from the very brink of death, he was 
an invalid for long after. 

The Priests' Picnic 

Section 54. At Omuro 54a there lived a worthy 
acolyte, and the priests planned among themselves 
to invite him out for a picnic. They consulted with 
those of their number who were especially clever 
at entertaining, and accordingly carefully prepared 
a box of delicious food, which they packed in a suit- 
able receptacle and buried in the scattered autumn 
leaves at a well-chosen spot on Mount Narabi. 
They then returned to the temple pretending to 
know nothing at all about it, and persuaded the boy 
to come out with them. 

With happy minds they played about here and 
there ; then, sitting down in a row upon a carpet of 
moss, they said, ' Oh, how very tired we are ! Would 
there were somebody here kind enough to burn the 
crimson 54b leaves for us (i.e. provide refreshment). 
But let us see if we priests can get an answer to 
prayer.' Discussing it together thus they turned to 
the foot of the tree where (the box) had been buried. 
With solemn demeanour they told their beads and 


tied the most extravagant magic finger knots ; 
but, when they swept aside the fallen leaves, not 
the least vestige of it was to be seen. 

Thinking that they might possibly have mistaken 
the place, there was no spot that they did not dig ; 
but, though they scratched up the whole hillside, 
it was not there. Somebody must have seen them 
burying it and have stolen it while they were on 
their way back to the temple. So the priests with 
nothing to say for themselves returned home again, 
quarrelling disagreeably and very angry. 

It is certainly a mistake to try to be too clever. 

On Building a House 

Section 55. When building a house, it should be 
designed to suit the summer. In winter one can 
live anywhere, but in the hot weather an uncom- 
fortable house is indeed trying. 

There is no coolness in a deep pool, a shallow 
running stream is far cooler ; and, in order to get 
a little light, a horizontal sliding door will open 
wider than a lifting shutter. But a high ceiling 
would make the winter seem colder and the lamp 
give but little light. 

Before finishing, it is generally admitted that a 
spare room will add to one's comfort ; it will be 
found useful for many purposes. 


On Correct Style in Conversation 

Section 56. On meeting a friend whom you have 
not seen for a long time, it is irritating to find that 
he can talk of nothing but his own endless affairs. 
Should there not be some little reserve or constraint 
between those who have not seen each other for 
some time, even though they had previously been 
on very intimate terms ? 

There is ever a certain peculiarity in the talk of 
those of low degree ; when one meets them even 
for a moment, they are so anxious to relate some 
fantastic tale or other that they get quite out of 
breath. When a gentleman speaks, though he 
addresses himself to only one friend among many 
standing by, all are anxious to hear him ; but when 
an uncultured man, regardless of who may be 
present, pushes forward and narrates some incident, 
professing to have seen it himself, the whole company 
smile contemptuously, for this is very improper 

One man will be not over much amused by a witty 
remark, while another will laugh freely at what is 
really not clever at all, and from this their different 
characters may be judged. 

But as to whether a man's style is good or not, it is 
inadvisable to take one's own feelings as a standard 
and to say that a cultivated man would decide 
so and so. 

PP 817 d 


On the Conversation of Amateurs 

Section 57. When talking of poetry I do not like 
to hear a man declaiming (his own) bad verses. One 
who really knows something of the art never does 
this, even if he considers them good. It is always 
disagreeable and pitiful to hear a man talk upon a 
subject with which he is not familiar. 

On Retiring from the World 

Section 58. Some people maintain, ' If only the 
heart is truly religious it matters not where you 
reside ; for it is not difficult to pray for the next life, 
even if you dwell with your wife and family and 
mix with other men.' But those who say this are 
utterly ignorant of the future state. 

The truth is, if a man is really convinced that the 
world is but transient and honestly wishes to be rid 
of this fleeting existence, how can he take pleasure 
in serving his lord day and night, or be fearless in 
caring for his family ? The heart distracted by 
worldly ties is liable to change, and it is hard there- 
fore to follow the Way without the tranquillity (of 

We have not indeed as many opportunities now 
as had those of former days ; for we cannot go out 
into the wild forests and win salvation by fasting and 
braving the tempests. And this being impossible, 
how can we help naturally falling back upon the 
lusts and desires of the world ? It may therefore 


be objected, * If it is fruitless to turn away (from 
the world), why should one give it up at all ? ' But 
this is utter nonsense. For indeed when one has once 
wearied of this life and has set out upon the Way, 
even if he has still some desires, there is no com- 
parison between his condition and the great cupidity 
of a man of the world. With a quilt of paper, 
clothing of hemp, a single bowl of food stored up, 
and some vegetable soup, he will have little need of 
money. His wants are but scanty, his heart will 
quickly be satisfied, and if some are ashamed of their 
cloth the majority abstain from evil and tend to draw 
near to goodness. 

As we are born human beings, we should in return 
at any cost shun worldly desires. For if we devote 
all our energies to nothing but selfish greed, and do 
not strive to gain salvation, what difference will 
there be between us and all the lower animals ? 

On the Peril of Procrastination 

Section 59. A man who sets his heart upon the 
great issue (i.e. the next life) cannot also succeed in 
his worldly business of which he thinks so much ; 
and though the latter is hard to leave he should just 
cast it aside. 

He thinks, c If I do not first settle this matter and 
arrange about that, people will laugh at me. I have 
for years been providing for the future, I can afford 
time just to do this, there is no need for me to act 
precipitately.' But if that is the way he reasons, 

D 2 


more and more worldly engagements will accumulate, 
he will be occupied with endless business of all kinds, 
and the appointed day (to retire) will never come at 
all. Taking mankind in general, those who have 
little strength of character mostly spend their whole 
lives thus. 

Will a man who is fleeing from a fire in the next 
house say, 6 I can wait a little longer ? ' If he can 
save himself, he throws away his money and without 
a thought of the dishonour makes good his escape. 
Does his life's end await a man's convenience ? On- 
coming death is more difficult to escape from than 
the swiftly punishing fire and water ; and when 
that time comes, though they are hard to forsake, 
will he not have to leave his old parents, his tender 
children, the favour of his lord and the goodwill of 
his fellow men ? 

An Eccentric Archdeacon 

Section 60. Archdeacon Joshin of the Shin jo 
Temple (attached to the Ninna Temple) was much 
respected for his wisdom. He was fond of yams, 
and ate great quantities of them ; even when he sat 
down to preach he had a large basin piled up close 
by, and kept eating them while he was preaching 
his sermon. Whenever he fell ill, he would shut 
himself up for a week or two by way of treatment, 
and picking out as many good yams as he wished 
he would eat more than ever, which cured all his 


He never gave any to others, but ate them all 
himself. He was very poor, but his old teacher, 
when on the point of death, left him 200 kwan of 
cash and also a shrine. He sold the latter for 
100 kwan, and put aside nearly the whole 300 kwan 60 * 
as yam money, which he entrusted to the care of 
a man who lived in the Capital. Each time that 
he drew 10 kwan he never failed to send for a con- 
siderable quantity of yams, spending his money on 
nothing else, so that ere long the whole sum vanished 
away ; and the people said, ' A poor body, who 
having acquired such a sum as 300 kwan spends it 
in this way, must indeed be wonderfully religious.' 

This archdeacon once called a certain priest 
whom he met a ' Shiro ururi '. 60b Somebody then 
asked him, ' What is that ? ' Arid he replied, c I do 
not know what it is, myself ; but, if there is any such 
thing at all, it must resemble the face of that priest ! ' 

Now the archdeacon was very handsome, of 
enormous strength, a big eater, and he excelled 
others in writing, scholarship, and eloquence. He 
was a shining light of his sect, and highly respected 
in his parish ; yet he was so unconventional that 
he thought little of the world, ever maintained his 
own freedom of opinion, and refused to follow the 
lead of others. 

When on his parochial visits he partook of a meal, 
he never waited for the rest of the company to be 
served, but as soon as he had been waited upon he 
immediately began to eat by himself ; and when 


he was ready to go home, he at once got up and 
went off all alone. I do not think he took regular 
dinner and supper like other men ; when he wished 
to eat he ate, whether at dead of night or at break 
of day ; and when he wished to sleep he retired to 
rest, even at midday, whatever was happening and 
heedless of what people might say. Any night when 
he awoke or was unable to sleep, with an undefiled 
heart he would walk up and down whistling. 
Though all this was very unusual people did not 
dislike him, but overlooked his many eccentricities. 
Was it not because of his great force of character ? 

An Old Superstition 

Section 61. (Omitted as unsuitable for English 

A Little Girl's Verse 

Section 62. When the Princess Ensei 62a was 
a little girl, she requested somebody who was going 
to Court to give (her father) this verse as a message 
from her : 

Futatsu moji A letter of two strokes, 

Ushi no tsuno moji One that 's like a bullock's horn, 

Sugu na moji One that 's nearly straight, 

Yugami moji to zo And a bent one — testify 

Kimi wa oboyuru. How I love Your Majesty ! 

And thus she intimated that she thought he was 
' a darling \ 62b 


An Inauspicious Custom 

Section 63. The priest's custom of having a guard 
of soldiers present during holy week 63 is a very 
unnecessary precaution, which dates from a certain 
former occasion when some thieves were discovered. 
If the general aspect of this ceremony may be taken 
as an omen for the whole year, it does not look very 
peaceable to employ soldiers in connexion with it. 

On Official Carriages 
Section 64. Somebody says that the right to ride 
in a five-cord 64 carriage is certainly not a personal 
one ; but that it depends upon his position in the 
world, and a man may ride in one when he has 
arrived at the highest rank and office. 

On Noblemen's Caps 

Section 65. Somebody says that now the noble's 
cap is worn much higher than it was in the days of 
old. And so those who possess old hat-cases lengthen 
the sides, in order to make use of them. 

A Ceremonial Gift of Game and Flowers 
Section 66. The Regent Okamoto once ordered 
his falconer, Shimotsukenu no Takekatsu, to deliver 
a brace of birds (pheasants) attached to a branch 
of blossoming red plum. But the latter replied, 
6 1 am afraid I really cannot bring myself to attach 
birds to blossoms ; nor can I think of hanging a 
brace of them upon a single branch.' The butler 


was thereupon summoned, and, after many others 
had also been consulted, a fresh order was given to 
Takekatsu : ' Well then, deliver it fastened in the 
way you think best.' He accordingly presented 
one bird attached to a branch on which there was 
not a single blossom. 

Takekatsu explained (the correct procedure) thus : 
4 The bird should be fastened only on to a branch 
of brushwood, or to a plum branch of which the 
blossoms are either not yet open or have scattered ; 
or you may attach it to a branch of pine. With 
a drawn sword the branch should be cut sixty or 
seventy inches long, trimmed half an inch at the 
end, and the bird should be fastened to the middle ; 
it should hang from one twig with its feet upon 
another. Also it should be tied in both places by 
split wistaria, which should be cut as long as the 
longest wing feathers of the bird and twisted round 
like a cow's horn. On the morning after the first 
snow has fallen, with the branch upon his shoulder 
the man should go forth from the side door in a 
ceremonial manner, stepping on the pavement 
stones, so as not to leave footprints in the snow ; 
and, scattering a little down from the bird's back, 
he should lean (the branch) against the balustrade 
of the double-gabled palace. If a gift (generally 
a garment) is offered to him, he should put it on 
his shoulder, make obeisance, and withdraw. And 
even though the first snow of the year may have 
fallen, if it be deep enough to cover his sandal- 


strings, he should not go at all. Scattering the 
down from the back, 5 he added, ' is to show that the 
bird has been struck down while hawking, for a 
hawk always strikes on the back.' 

Now I know not why a bird should not be attached 
to a blossoming (branch). I see from the Ise Mono- 
gatari that in the ninth month a pheasant was 
presented fastened to a branch of artificial plum 
blossoms with these lines : 66 

Kimi ga tame ni to Though 'tis not the time of year 

Oru hana wa When the blossoms blow, 

Toki shi mo wakanu, I have picked a flower for thee, 
so the use of artificial flowers at all events seems 
to be not improper. 

The Iwamoto and Hashimoto Temples 
Section 67. The Iwamoto and Hashimoto temples 
at Kamo (are dedicated to) Narihira and Sanekata 67a 

I went there one year to worship ; and, as one 
never knows (which is which), I called out to stop 
a venerable chief priest who was passing by, and 
asked him. He replied, ' It is Sanekata's shrine 
whose stream for washing the hands reflects your 
(soul's) image also ; and this water, as all may sec, 
is quite close to Hashimoto Temple. The priest of 
Yoshimizu wrote : 

Tsuki wo mede Gazing at the flowers, 

Hana wo nagameshi Fascinated by the moon, 

Inishie no Gentle and refined ; 

Yasashiki hito wa Here, upon this spot, 'tis told 

Koko ni Ariwara Ariwara lived of old, 


and I have heard that he composed it in honour of 
Iwamoto Temple ; but I am sure you will be much 
better informed on the subject than I am.' Now, 
was not that a very humble and charming way of 
giving me the information ? 

(The Empress) Konoe 67b of the Imade River 
Palace, whose poems are to be found in many collec- 
tions, often in her youth composed a set of a hundred 
verses, which she dedicated to these two temples, 
writing them with (ink made from) the water that 
is in front of them. There are in truth many verses 
of hers which people quote with the highest praise ; 
for in writing and in composing poetry she greatly 

Toasted Radishes 

Section 68. In Tsukushi there was a certain 
Governor, who for many a year used to eat a couple 
of toasted radishes each morning as an excellent 
specific for all kinds of ailments. 

Once the enemy, choosing a time when there were 
no troops in the official Residence, came on to the 
attack and surrounded it. But a couple of warriors 
came out of the building, who heedless of their own 
lives fought bravely and drove them all back again. 
Thinking this very remarkable (the Governor) said, 
4 By rights there should have been nobody here ; 
what men are you who have fought like this ? ' And 
they replied, ' We are the radishes which you have 


so trustfully eaten morning after morning for years 
past ' ; and then they vanished. 

Thus, if only you have perfect faith in anything, 
you will gain your reward. 

Boiled Beans 

Section 69. The priest of Shosha, having acquired 
merit by deep study of the Hokke scriptures, was 
admittedly a man undefiled in all the six 69 senses. 

Once, having entered an inn while on a journey, 
he heard the bubbling sound of some beans being 
boiled over a fire made of the burning bean-pods. 
The beans seemed to be saying, ' As you are so 
closely related to us, do you not think it cruel to 
boil us in this horrible fashion ? ' And the crackling 
of the burning bean-pods was heard in reply, ' Do 
you imagine we are doing it of our own free will ? 
To be burned is exceedingly painful for us also ; 
but we are quite powerless in the matter ; please, 
therefore, do not blame us.' 

On Preparation for Emergencies 
Section 70. At the Seisho Temple games in the 
geno period (a.d. 1319-21) the lute Gensho 70 could 
not be found, and so Kikutei no Otodo took his seat 
intending to play upon the lute Bokuba instead. 
He at once began to feel for the bridges of the 
instrument, and found that one of them had fallen 
down ; he therefore fastened it with some paste 
which he had brought in his bosom, and it thoroughly 


dried before the presentation of the offerings was 

A lady-in-waiting, having some grudge against 
him, and seeing it as she passed by, had loosened 
(the bridge) and then set it up again as it was before ! 

On Phantasy 

Section 71. On hearing a man's name I at once 
fancy in imagination what he may be like ; but 
when I see him, his face is never what I had expected 
it to be. On hearing a story of the days of old my 
thoughts turn from that period to the houses of 
people of the present day, and from the men whom 
I see around me I picture what the people then 
must have been like. Do others also have fancies 
such as these ? 

Again, at the moment when something is said 
or at some sight I see, or some sensation I have, 
I feel that I have experienced it once long ago ; 
though when it was I cannot tell. I wonder if it is 
really only I who have such feelings ? 

On Superabundance 

Section 72. It is in bad taste to have too much 
furniture in your home, too many pens at your 
inkstone, too many Buddhas in the holy chamber, 
too many rocks, plants, and trees in your garden, 
too many sons and grandsons in your house, to be 
too diffuse when you meet any one, or to use too 
many words in your written prayers. But there 


is nothing unseemly in putting many books on your 
wheeling bookstand, or much dust upon the dust- 

On Exaggeration and Untruth 

Section 73. As the bare truth is often of little 
interest, the traditions handed down in the world 
are generally quite inaccurate. People exaggerate 
what actually happens to make it convincing, and, 
as the veil of passing years and months intervenes, 
they tend more than ever to tell the tale as they 
will ; then, as it is preserved in writing by the pen, 
it is soon established as truth. 

In speaking of the greatness of a master in any 
art, a perverse man who is ignorant of the subject 
will carelessly praise him to excess, as if he were 
a god ; but one who is himself an adept will get not 
at all enthusiastic (over his skill). In fact whatever 
we actually see ever proves to be quite different from 
the accounts we had heard of it. 

Idle chatter which passes from mouth to mouth 
careless of whether it be eventually disproved or not 
is soon found to be unreliable. Again, when a man 
repeats something which he knows well to be untrue, 
at the same time twitching his nose, 73 then the lie 
is not his (but somebody else's). But when he 
seriously pretends that he does not know the exact 
details and may be inaccurate here and there, and 
then tells a story of much accumulated gossip — a lie 
such as that is the worst of all. One does not, 


however, much mind an untruth which is told to 
save one's honour. 

It is useless for one person to refute a falsehood 
which entertains everybody ; yet, if you continue 
to listen to it (without contradicting), you become 
a witness to it, and thereby it becomes more and 
more recognized as truth. There are, as a matter 
of fact, many misstatements current in life ; and, if 
you remember that such things are usual and every- 
day occurrences, you will not often err. 

The stories which the lower classes tell are intended 
only to tickle the ear, but a gentleman never tells 
extravagant tales. 

In spite of all this, however, one must not always 
be sceptical of such things as the beneficence of the 
Buddhist and Shinto Gods and the Lives of the 
Saints. It would be absurd to give credence to all 
the common fallacies, but yet it does no good to say, 
' Oh, that is impossible ! ' So treat them generally 
as if they were true, but do not altogether believe 
them, and do not cast ridicule upon them by ex- 
pressing your incredulity. 

On the Vanity of Worldly Desires 

Section 74. Why is it that we are all crowded 
together like ants, high and low, old and young, 
hurrying east and west, rushing north and south, 
going abroad and returning home, sleeping at night 
and waking again at break of day ? It is because 


we are ever ceaselessly striving to attain for ourselves 
longer life and more money. 

You may pamper your body as you will, but what 
can you expect at the appointed time save old age 
and death ? Swiftly they approach and do not 
delay their coming even for a moment. How, 
therefore, can you enjoy any pleasure while awaiting 

He who has wandered astray has no fears ; for 
deep in the pursuit of fame and riches he fails to 
realize that his end is near. The fool, on the other 
hand, grieves heavily over it ; for he longs for things 
to go on the same for ever, and knows not that 
change is the law of nature. 

On the Secluded Life 

Section 75. How can a man ever find it wearisome 
to live at leisure ? Free from surrounding cares, it 
is good merely to be alone. 

If you lead the life of a man of the world, your 
heart is captured by its defilement and you are 
easily led astray. Mixing with others you are in- 
fluenced by their worldly conversation and lose your 
own individuality ; for you make merry with one 
and quarrel with another, one moment you feel 
anger and the next delight, so vacillating are your 
impulses. Your powers of discrimination grow 
confused with endless business transactions ; and, 
intoxicated with delusions in a kind of drunken 
dream, you hurry hither and thither almost delirious 


and forgetful of everything else. And thus is it 
with all men. 

To my mind, even though you remain ignorant 
of the true Way, yet, if separated from the influence 
of the world you spend your life in tranquillity, and 
if your heart untroubled by business is at ease, you 
will for the time being be happy. It is written in 
the Maka Shikwan, ' Sever all connexion with 
earning a living, human affairs, social accomplish- 
ments, and book learning.' 

On Priests and Society 

Section 76. When there is sorrow or rejoicing 
among the fashionable society set and many go to 
tender their condolences or congratulations, it seems 
to me that a wise priest should not stop and offer 
to join the company. He may have some good 
reason for doing so, but all the same a priest should 
hold himself rather aloof from others. 

On Priests and Worldly Conversation 

Section 77. With reference to those topics which 
nowadays are discussed by men of the world, it is 
not seemly that those who ought not to interfere 
should join in the conversation, though possibly 
they may be quite competent to do so. Still worse 
is it for a wise priest who dwells apart to question 
worldly people as if for his own information, till he 
learns so much that one wonders where he heard it all, 
and then to proceed to scatter it broadcast. 


Against Modern Phraseology 
Section 78. Again, do not encourage the use of 
the novel words and expressions of the present age. 
He is worthy of esteem who knows only the old- 
world phraseology. When a new-comer is present, 
those who are familiar with the names and expressions 
which they are accustomed to use among themselves 
merely exchange a few hints, glances, or smiles, 
which the stranger cannot understand ; but those 
who behave thus are certainly uneducated and 
wanting in polish. 

On Becoming Modesty 

Section 79. In anything whatsoever it is best not 
to be too forward. Does a wise man proudly tell 
all that he knows ? A man from the country, on the 
contrary, is ever ready and willing to answer any 
question as if he knew all about everything. Possibly 
there may be some among the latter who can put the 
world to shame, but the exhibition of such self -pride 
is very unbecoming. When a subject is under 
discussion on which one is an expert, it is certainly 
best to be slow in giving an opinion, and not to 
speak at all unless asked a question. 

Against Discontent 

Section 80. Every one of us yearns for that 

which is totally unconnected with his natural 

vocation. The priest would live the life of a soldier, 

and the warriors of the eastern provinces, though 

PP817 e 


they know not how to draw a bow, are well informed 
about Buddhism and delight in musical instruments 
and capping verses. To behave thus, however, is 
more contemptible than mere incompetence in one's 
own profession. 

It is not only the priests ; for every one, upper 
classes, nobles, and the highest officials alike, 
crave for the warrior's life. But, though you fight 
a hundred battles and win a hundred victories, 
it is hard to establish a reputation for martial 
courage ; for there is nobody who may not be called 
a hero, if he by the help of good fortune crushes his 
enemies. When your troops are exterminated and 
your arrows exhausted, then not to surrender to the 
foe followed by an easy death is the way to show 
your true worth for the first time. But while still 
alive you should not boast of your valorous deeds. 

All such doings, however, are far from true 
morality and akin to the birds and beasts ; and, if 
your family are not hereditary soldiers, no good can 
come of longing to be one. 

On the Indications of Vulgarity 

Section 81. From the pictures and writing upon 
his folding and sliding screens which are stiffly 
painted by the brush and badly written, one may 
learn how uncultured the master of the house must 
be ; and from his furniture generally, one may judge 
how inferior is his taste. It is quite unnecessary to 
have so many costly objects ; and further, for fear 


they may be damaged he perversely loves to add 
superfluous (coverings) to make them look still more 
valuable ; thereby displaying his unrefined and 
unbecoming taste. 

Things which bear the marks of antiquity, which 
are not too ostentatious and not costly, but which are 
of good quality are the best. 

Against Perfection and Uniformity 

Section 82. Some affirm that it is a pity to use 
thin silk for binding books, as it is so soon damaged ; 
but Tona 82a says, ' Thin silk (book covers) frayed 
at the top and the bottom, and mother-of-pearl 
inlaid picture rollers from which the shell has 
dropped out are the best ' ; is not that a charming 
sentiment ? Some affirm that a set of books which 
is not bound uniformly is unsightly ; but Archdeacon 
Koyu 82a says, ' Things which are made all exactly 
the same are doubtless the work of those who have 
but little taste ; 'tis better to have dissimilarity ' ; 
and he is certainly right. 

Generally speaking, uniformity in anything at all 
is bad ; it is better to leave a little imperfection, and 
thereby your life (being more natural) will be pro- 
longed. There are some who say that when a 
palace is being built, you should never fail to leave 
one little piece 82b of it uncompleted. There are some 
chapters wanting also in both the Buddhist and 
Confucian books written by the wise men of old. 

£ 2 


Against Boundless Ambition 

Section 83. What prevented the lay priest Chi- 
kurin In, 83a who was a Sa-daijin, from being pro- 
moted to the rank of Prime Minister ? He simply 
said, ' It is not a prize that I wish for ; I intend to 
stop at my present rank ', and entered the church* 
But Do In, 83b who was also a Sa-daijin, was so 
impressed with this, that he too gave up all desire 
of becoming Premier. 

They say that the dragon who has reached the 
heavens fears (a fall). The moon when full begins 
to wane ; where there has been increase there is 
bound to be decrease ; and in every case he who 
has reached the very front soon gets a set-back. 

The Homesickness of Hoken Sanzo 

Section 84. After Hoken Sanzo 84a had crossed 
the sea to India, he used to get homesick at the 
sight of a fan from his native land (China), and if 
ever he lay down unwell he would beg for some 
Chinese rice. When people heard this they said, 
4 For such a man as that to behave so in a foreign land 
showed a terribly weak heart '. But Archdeacon 
Koyu 82a says, c How exceedingly tender-hearted 
Sanzo must have been ! ' Is not that a kindly thing 
to say ? And not what one would have expected 84b 
from a priest. 


On Deceit 

Section 85. The heart of man being imperfect, lies 
and deceit are not unknown to it. But that is no 
reason for one (to say) that no man has a natural 
tendency to honesty. For though he be not perfect 
himself, he may often envy an upright man when he 
chances to meet one. 

The very foolish, however, are sometimes so 
vindictive towards a virtuous man, that they make 
this false accusation against him : ' He will never 
take a reasonable profit if he can get a bigger one, 
and he thinks nothing of a lie if only he can increase 
his credit.' Well we know that it is because of 
their discordant hearts that these persons talk so 
absurdly, but they are too stupid ever to change 
their nature ; and it is really they who will not 
hesitate to cheat, if thereby they can gain a little 
advantage for themselves. 

Never imitate the foolish man, even for a moment 
(in fun). He who rushes along the high road like 
a madman at once becomes a madman ; he who 
murders a man like a criminal becomes a criminal ; 
he who can run as fast as the horse Ki m is as good 
as the horse Ki ; and he who takes Shun 85 as his 
model becomes one of Shun's disciples. If therefore 
even an impostor affects virtue, he will at least be 
called an upright man. 


A Gentle Rebuke to Pride 

Section 86. Koretsugu Chu-nagon was a man 
rich in poetical talent, who devoted his whole life 
to constant study of Buddhist books. It is related 
that once when he was lodging with Bishop Eni, 
c the Priest of the Temple,' 86 just after Mii-dera 
had been burned down in the bumpo period (1317- 
19), he met the prelate and said, ' Your Reverence 
is proudly known as "the Priest of the Temple", 
but now that there is no temple we shall have to 
call you only "the Priest ".' A very clever mot. 

A Drunken Groom 

Section 87. One should always be careful about 
giving sake to the lower orders. 

A man who lived at Uji had a brother-in-law 
named Gukaku Bo, an enlightened hermit priest of 
the Capital, who often came to have a friendly chat 
with him. He once sent a horse to fetch (the 
priest), and the latter said, c First let the groom 
have a drink, for he has indeed come a long dis- 
tance.' 87 So some sake was sent out, and he drank 
again and again in long gulps. 

As the man was wearing a sword and seemed 
a brave fellow, (Gukaku Bo) thought that he could 
trust him and took him with him on the journey. 
When they got to Kobata, they met a company of 
Nara priests armed like soldiers, and the groom 
confronting them said, ' You have no business here 


in the midst of the mountains now that the sun has 
set, — halt ! ' As he drew his sword, the others all 
drew theirs also and fitted their arrows ; but 
Gukaku Bo, rubbing his hands apologetically said, 
1 The man is drunk and out of his mind ; pray, 
forgive him '. So the others all laughed and went 
on their way. 

But the fellow turned on Gukaku Bo and angrily 
cried, * Your Reverence has done a regrettable thing. 
It is not I who am drunk. I was about to achieve 
a valorous feat, and you have made my drawn 
sword useless ! ' And he fell upon him, cutting and 
slashing recklessly. 

(The priest) thereupon shouted ' Robbers ! ' 
which aroused the country-folk and they came 
trooping out. The man cried, c I am the robber ! ' 
and ran at them slashing about (with his sword) ; 
but the others overpowered him, knocked him 
down and securely bound him. 

Meanwhile the horse dripping with blood had 
galloped off home along the high road to Uji. (Its 
owner) at the awful sight sent some men running, 
who after a search found Gukaku Bo lying groaning 
on Kuchinashi Moor and carried him back on their 
shoulders. His life was with difficulty saved, and 
being badly wounded in the loin he was left a cripple 
for the rest of his days. 


A Very Rare Book 
Section 88. There was a man who had a copy 
of the Wakan Roeishu, which was reputed to have 
been transcribed by Ono no Dofu. 88 Somebody 
said to him, * Though it has been inherited by you 
as such, yet for a book which was compiled by 
Shi jo Dai-nagon 88 to have been transcribed by 
Dofu would be an anachronism and therefore it 
must be of doubtful authenticity '. But he replied, 
4 For that very reason it is the rarest thing in the 
world ! ' and he treasured it more than ever. 

The Goblin Cat 

Section 89. Some say, ' In the heart of the 
mountains live what are called goblin cats, which 
devour men'; while others say, ' Even in those parts 
of the country where there are no mountains men 
are sometimes seized by a goblin cat, which has 
grown into this from an ordinary cat '. 

Now there was a certain priest with some such 
name as Amida Butsu, who was fond of capping 
verses and who lived near the Gyogwan Temple. He 
had heard all about this, and had made up his mind 
that a person who went for a walk by himself should 
be on his guard. Once when he had been capping 
verses in a certain place late at night, he was 
returning home all alone by the side of a stream, 
when this goblin cat he had heard so much about, 
without a shadow of doubt, suddenly appeared at 

His legs gave way under him, and he fell headlong into the stream. 

J\ 72 


his feet, and at once began scratching and clawing 
him and biting his neck. 

All his courage and valour deserted him, he had 
no strength left to beat it off, his legs gave way 
under him, and he fell headlong into the stream. 
4 Help ! the goblin cat ! the goblin cat ! ' he 
shouted ; and the people running out from the 
houses with lighted torches found that it was their 
familiar neighbour, the priest. 

4 Oh ! Ah ! ' They clung to him and pulled him 
out of the midst of the stream ; but a fan and a little 
box, prizes he had won for capping verses, which 
he carried in his bosom, had fallen into the water. 
Saved thus with the greatest difficulty, he crawled 
back to his home. 

And it was his own pet dog, who recognizing his 
master in the dark had jumped up at him ! 

A Rt. Rev. Dai-nagon and his Servant 

Section 90. (Omitted as unsuitable for English 

On Lucky and Unlucky Days 

Section 91. There are no rules in the science of 
astrology for what are known as unlucky days. Of 
old they were not regarded at all ; but now, whoever 
it was who originated the feeling, a superstitious 
dread has arisen about them. Men say that on this 
day you will not attain your object, and on that 
whatever you may say or do or win will surely turn 


to loss and that all your plans will come to nothing. 
How foolish that is ! You may count just the same 
your failures in what you have done on carefully 
selected lucky days. For nobody would ever 
suggest that there is any limit to the uncertainty 
of what is fated to happen. You may make a 
beginning, but you know not how it will end ; 
your object may never be attained ; your wish 
may never be fulfilled. For the heart of man is 
an unknown factor, so all is left in uncertainty. 
What is there that remains unchanged even for 
a moment ? But this truth is not properly realized. 
The fact is, to act wrongly on a lucky day is always 
unfortunate, and to act rightly on an unlucky day 
is always fortunate. For good and bad luck depend 
upon the man, not upon the day. 

On the Waste of Time 

Section 92. A certain man who was learning 
archery faced the target with two arrows in his 
hand. But his instructor said, c A beginner ought 
never to have a second arrow ; for as long as he 
relies upon the other, he will be careless with his 
first one. At each shot he ought to think that he 
is bound to settle it with this particular shaft at any 
cost.' Doubtless he would not intentionally act 
foolishly before his instructor with one arrow, when 
he has but a couple. But, though he may not him- 
self realize that he is being careless, his teacher 


knows it. You should bear this advice in mind 
on every occasion. 

(In the same way) he who follows the path of 
learning thinks confidently in the evening that the 
morning is coming, and in the morning that the 
evening is coming, and that he will then have plenty 
of time to study more carefully ; less likely still is 
he to recognize the waste of a single moment. How 
hard indeed is it to do a thing at once — now, the 
instant that you think of it ! 

On the Value of Time 

Section 93. A certain man told the following 
tale : ' A cow was once sold, and the buyer said 
that on the morrow he would pay the money and 
take the animal away. But during the night the cow 
died, and so the buyer gained and the seller suffered 
the loss.' 

On hearing this one who was standing by said, 
c The cow's owner may indeed have suffered a 
certain loss, but he also made a great gain. For 
this reason — that which is alive never realizes that 
death is near ; thus it was with the cow, and 
with men too it is the same. Unexpectedly the 
cow died, and unexpectedly its owner continues to 
live. Life for a single day is worth more than untold 
gold, while the price of the cow is (in comparison) 
lighter than a goose's feather. No one can say that 
he who has gained untold gold and lost but a farthing 
has been a loser.' At these words they all smiled 


(shrewdly) and said, ' This teaching applies not only 
to the owner of the cow '. 

' Just as a man dreads death ', he continued, ' he 
must in proportion value his own life ; and if he 
appreciates being alive, should he not delight in it 
each particular day ? But he who is foolish, forgetful 
of this joy, seeks laboriously for pleasures of another 
sort, and unmindful of this wealth his boundless 
ambition is ever coveting riches of a dangerous 
kind. While he lives, he does not value his life ; 
yet, when on the point of death, he dreads it — which 
is inconsistent. The reason why all do not properly 
appreciate life is, that they do not fear death ; or 
rather, it is not that they do not fear it, but that the 
fact that it is near is lost sight of. I should say, 
however, that you have a sound principle, if you 
decide to take no thought of either life or death \ 
And, as he said this, the people smiled more (shrewdly) 
than ever. 

The Imperial Messenger 

Section 94. A messenger bearing an Imperial 
Edict once met the Prime Minister Tokiwai, who was 
on his way to Court ; so he dismounted from his 
horse. But not long after the Prime Minister said, 
1 The messenger so-and-so dismounted while he was 
the bearer of an Imperial Edict. How can one who 
would do such a thing as that be fit to serve His 
Majesty ? ' So the messenger was dismissed. 

The bearer of an Imperial Edict should always 
appear on horseback, he should never dismount. 


On the Way to Tie up a Box 

Section 95. Somebody once asked a certain 
authority on ancient customs, * To which side of the 
lid of a box should the cord 95 be fastened ? ' He 
replied, ' There are two different ways — you may 
attach it to the left or to the right side, and both 
ways are correct. But for a box to hold a scroll of 
writings, it is generally fastened on the right side ; 
and for a box to hold trinkets, on the left side/ 

A Cure for Snake Bites 
Section 96. There is a plant called the menamomi ; 
and, if a man who has been bitten by a snake crushes 
it in his hands and applies it to the spot, he will 
forthwith recover. This is a plant which you 
should know by sight. 


Section 97. Endless are the following, which (like 
parasites) waste and consume the body to which they 
cling : the lice on your person, the rats in your 
house, the thieves in the land, the riches of the miser, 
the (haughty) righteousness of the superior man, 
and the (endless) maxims of the priest. 

Five Maxims 

Section 98. I once saw a book with some such 
title as Ichigon Hodan, containing the sayings left 
by a worthy sage, which touched my heart ; I recall 
the following extracts. 


Item. • When in doubt whether to take action 
or not, it is better to refrain.' 

Item. ' He who would reach Paradise should 
possess not even a single jar of pickles. It is best 
not to indulge in costly magnificence, even in the 
way of Buddhist scriptures and images.' 

Item. ' For him who has retired from the world, 
the very best way to spend his life is to be free from 
all desires.' 

Item. ' He who is high in rank should bear him- 
self as if he were of low rank, the sage as if he were a 
simpleton, the influential man as if he were a pauper, 
and the skilful man as if he were incompetent.' 

Item. ' Speaking of him who would follow the 
Path of Buddha, there is nothing but this — a leisurely 
life and a heart free from worldly matters. This is 
the chief Way.' 

There were many more than these, but I cannot 
recall them. 

A Premier's Extravagance 

Section 99. The Prime Minister Horikawa, being 
a handsome and agreeable man, was fond of all 
kinds of luxuries. When he appointed his son, 
Mototoshi no Kyo, Chief Constable he said, ' The 
leather trunk belonging to your office is getting 
unsightly ; it would be as well to have it repaired '. 
But those who were authorities on ancient customs 
and ceremonies said, 8 This leather trunk dates from 
remote antiquity ; its origin is unknown, but it 


must be some hundreds of years old. It is the 
recognized precedent for the hereditary official 
furniture to be old and worn, so it cannot very well 
be altered.' The proposal therefore was abandoned. 

A Premier's Simplicity 

Section 100. Once in the Imperial Palace the 
Prime Minister Kuga called for some water, and the 
Governor of the Household presented it in an earthen- 
ware cup. But he asked for a plain wooden ladle, 
and from the wooden ladle he drank. 

The Forgotten Document 

Section 101. A certain man went to the Palace 
to direct the ceremony of appointing the Dai j in ; but 
he found on arrival that he had omitted to bring the 
Royal Patent with him from the Imperial Secretary. 

This was an unprecedented oversight, and as 
there was no time to go back and fetch it he was in 
great anxiety as to what ought to be done. How- 
ever, the Secretary of the Privy Council, Roku-i no 
Yasutsuna, persuaded one of the veiled ladies-in- 
waiting to take the missing document and to give 
it to him privately. A commendable thing to do. 

The Forgotten Mat 

Section 102. When the lay priest In no Dai-nagon 
Mitsutada was about to superintend the ceremony 
of driving out the devils, he asked Do In no Sa-daijin 
Dono what were the correct formalities ; and the 


latter answered, ' You cannot do better than make 
Master Matagoro your teacher '. 

Now this Matagoro was an old attendant, who 
was well familiar with all public ceremonials. Once 
when Konoe Dono was sitting in state, a small mat 
had been forgotten, and the Secretary of the Privy 
Council was summoned. (Matagoro), who was 
kindling the fire, muttered quietly to himself, 
1 Well, it must be that little mat that he has been 
called up about, I suppose '. A very amusing inci- 

A Court Riddle 
Section 103. His Majesty of the Dai-kaku Temple 
(the ex-Emperor Go Uda) and his courtiers were once 
asking riddles, when Dr. Tadamori appeared upon 
the scene, and the Chamberlain Dai-nagon Kinakira 
Kyo asked, ' Why is Tadamori different from other 
men of our land ? ' The answer to the riddle was, 
1 Because 103 he is a Chinese member of the Taira 
clan'. The others all laughed, but (the doctor) 
went out in great wrath. 

The Lover's Visit 
Section 104. In a rough-looking house unseen 
by the eye of man, a woman who had for a season 
retired from the world was living at her ease in 
seclusion ; and hither came somebody in the dim- 
ness of a moonlight night to pay her a secret visit. 
At the loud barking of the dog a maid-servant 


appeared, who, after asking, c Where do you come 
from ? ' ushered him in, and he entered the house. 

The place looked so dilapidated that he wondered 
how anybody could live there. As he stood for 
a moment on the rude wooden floor, the gentle 
voice of one who was evidently quite young said, 
1 Come in ! ' and he entered by a lattice door which 
was standing half open. 

Inside it was not so desolate after all. The cosy 
little room lit by a subdued light looked homelike 
with its ornaments, and the faint perfume showed 
that its owner had been very comfortably settled 
down there for some time. ' Shut the door,' she 
said (to the maid), c it is raining. Let the gentle- 
man's carriage wait at the entrance, and let the 
servants go about their duties.' And hushed 
whispers were faintly heard, for they were not far 
off, c To-night at all events 104 we shall be able to 
sleep in peace.' 

They chatted together intimately of their latest 
doings, till as the night grew late a cock began to 
crow. But they only talked the more ardently of 
what had long passed away or was still to come, till 
at last as the lively crowing of the cocks became 
more incessant, they wondered if the day had really 
dawned. It was still deep night, however, and 
there was no need for him to hurry away just yet, 
so he delayed his departure for a little longer ; but 
when the daylight showed through the chinks, 
with a few never-to-be-forgotten words he took his 

PP 817 F 


leave. The twigs of the trees and all else in the 
garden were beautifully green, for it was daybreak 
on an April morning. And now (whenever he 
passes that way) recalling its charming fascination 
he fondly looks back, till at last it vanishes away 
behind the big katsura tree. 

Two Lovers 

Section 105. The snow left unmelted in the 
north shadow of the building is frozen hard, the 
hoar-frost sparkles brightly on the shafts of a 
kuruma standing close by, and the early morning 
moon is shining clearly, but not unflecked (by the 
branches of the trees), upon a distinguished looking 
man sitting beside a woman on the edge of the 
verandah at a secluded little temple. Their con- 
versation, whatever it be, seems as if it would never 
come to an end ; it makes a charming picture 
indeed, as she bends her head down (to listen). A 
sudden breath of indescribably sweet perfume scents 
the air, and the sound of their voices every now and 
then is perfectly enchanting. 

A Forgiving Priest 

Section 106. Once when the Rev. Shoku of Koya 
was going up to Kyoto, he met in a narrow road a 
woman who was travelling on horseback. A groom 
was leading her horse, and he led it so clumsily 
that the good priest's horse was pushed into the 


His Reverence was very angry, and rebuked him, 
saying, ' This is a strange outrage indeed ! There 
are, as you well know, four grades of disciples ; 
a nun is lower than a priest, a lay-brother is lower 
than a nun, and a lay-sister is lower than a lay- 
brother. For such a person as a lay-sister to kick 
a priest into the ditch is an unutterable offence ! ' 
The groom said, * What are you pleased to say ? 
I do not quite understand.' The priest, still breath- 
less with rage, shouted, ' What is that ? You 
ignorant and uncultivated man ! ' Then, as if 
realizing that he had abused him perhaps too 
vehemently, he wheeled his horse round and gal- 
loped away. 

It was indeed noble of him (to end) the quarrel 


On Women 

Section 107. It is not always that a man can give 
a ready answer at the moment when a woman 
accosts him. Once, when the Emperor Kameyama 
was living in retirement, some very brazen ladies- 
in-waiting, in order to test the young men who 
came to Court, used to ask, c Have you heard the 
cuckoo yet ? ' A certain Dai-nagon faltered in 
reply, c It cannot be expected that such an insigni- 
ficant body as I should have heard it ' ; while Hori- 
kawa Nai-daijin Dono said at once, ; I fancy I heard 
it at Iwakura.' ' This latter ', they agreed, 6 is not 
at all bad, but the " insignificant body " answer is 
too flippant.' 

F 2 


All men should be so brought up that they may 
never be laughed at by women. Has it not been 
said, c The late Regent (who retired to) the Jodo 
Temple was distinguished for his good manner of 
speaking, because he had been well trained as a boy 
by Anki Mon In ' ? Whereas Yamashina no Sa- 
daijin Dono, when he met nothing but a humble 
servant maid, said, c I feel exceedingly shy and 
awkward.' But if there were no women in the 
world at all, men would no longer pay any attention 
to their clothes, their hats, and so forth. 

How exemplary, one would think, women ought 
to be, to make a man feel abashed like this ! Yet 
they are all by nature perverse. They are con- 
ceited, extremely greedy, and ignorant of right 
conduct ; they are ever ready to change their minds 
about whatever had taken their fancy ; they will 
not speak, even when asked the simplest question in 
carefully chosen words ; yet, though they may 
seem to be trying to do their best, they will break 
out into the silliest clatter when not spoken to at all. 
They think that their deep-laid and glossed-over 
schemes pass man's understanding, but they are 
not clever enough to prevent a trace of them from 
being revealed. Women are clumsy creatures and 
not straightforward. Of little worth is the appro- 
bation of those whose nature is such as this. 

Why, therefore, should any one feel abashed 
before a woman ? If there be such a thing as a 
perfect woman (to whom the above does not apply) 


she must be a freak of nature. Nevertheless, if 
love be your object and you blindly follow her, you 
will find her gentle and delightful. 

On the Waste of Time 

Section 108. Nobody ever grudges a moment of 
time ; but is that altogether wise of him, or foolish ? 

A single farthing is a mere nothing to a silly idle 
man, but yet when farthings accumulate they make 
the poor grow rich ; and it is for this reason that 
a merchant is careful and anxious about each 
separate coin. An instant of time is barely realized, 
yet they continue to pass by with never a pause, 
and life's end comes all too suddenly. Therefore he 
who is upon the Way should grieve over the present 
waste of a single moment, rather than regret the whole 
days and months which have long passed away. 

Supposing one came to tell me that my life would 
on the morrow most certainly come to an end ; 
what should I need, and what should I do for the 
remainder of to-day ? Yet is it not thus with the 
very day that we are now living in ? 

Unavoidably we lose much time each single day 
in eating and drinking, in the toilet, in sleeping, 
in converse, and in walking about. During the 
remaining time also, which is but little, in acting 
foolishly, talking foolishly, and thinking foolish 
thoughts, not only hours are spent, but days are lost, 
months pass by, and our whole life slips away — 
which is surely the very height of folly. 


Sha Rei-un was the translator of the Buddhist 
scriptures ; yet, as his thoughts were ever fixed 
upon poetry (rather than upon his work), Eon 108 
would not permit him to take part in the White 
Lotus gatherings. 

To forget the importance of time even for an 
instant is to be as if dead. The passing moments, 
therefore, being of so much value, I say that free 
from vain speculations within and worldly cares 
without let him who will continue in passive 
meditation, and let him who will continue in active 

On the Difficulty of an Easy Tas& 

Section 109. A man, who had a great reputation 
as a tree-climber, made it a rule, whenever he sent 
anybody up a tall tree to cut twigs, to keep silence 
as long as the latter appeared to be in danger ; but 
when he was coming down and had got about to 
the level of the eaves of a house, he would call out, 
6 Do not slip ! Be careful how you come down ! ' 
Somebody asked, ' Why do you say that ? for he 
has now descended so far that he can jump.' And 
he made answer, ' It is for this reason. When he 
was giddy with being on a dangerous branch, I did 
not speak, for he was sufficiently frightened himself. 
But when he had reached a safer position, he was 
far more likely to slip.' 

Though this was a common low-class man, his 
teaching was in accordance with that of the sages. 


You can kick the football when it is difficult to 
do ; but when it seems easy are you not sure to 
miss it ? 

Against Rash Temerity 
Section 110. A man who was reputed to be a 
very clever backgammon player was once asked 
what was his special method ; and he said, ■ You 
should not play to win, but you should play so 
as not to lose. After carefully considering which 
move will soonest lose the game, do not play it, but 
make the one move which will delay defeat as long 
as possible.' 

This is the teaching of those who know the Way, 
and the same rule applies to self-conduct and the 
government of the state. 

Against too Great Fondness for Games 
Section 111. This excellent saying of a certain 
sage once arrested my attention : * I consider that 
for a man to be devoted to draughts and backgammon 
from break of day to set of sun is far worse even 
than committing the four crimes 111 or the five 

On Approaching Death 

Section 112. Suppose you heard that somebody 
was about to set out on the morrow for a far-away 
land, would you consult him on matters which 
should be decided when his mind was undisturbed ? 
Those who have to deal with a sudden great emer- 


gency or who are plunged into deep mourning can 
heed nothing else ; they cannot even call to ask 
after the joys and sorrows of others, nor will any 
blame them for not doing so. And he who is well 
advanced in years and encompassed with ailments, 
and much more he who has fled from the world, is in 
exactly the same state as they are. 

Nothing is harder to forsake than the customs 
and conventionalities of life, whatever they may be. 
But if you cannot restrain yourself from meddling 
in worldly matters, there await you endless desires, 
distress of body, no leisure for meditation, a whole 
life impeded by all kinds of trifles, and an end that 
is futile. 

1 At the close of the day long is the road behind 
you, already 112 is your life fainting away.' The 
time has come to discard all worldly ties. You no 
longer care about keeping faith, nor do you pay 
any regard to formalities. He who has not attained 
this state of mind may call you insane, but you do 
not care ; he may think you unfeeling, but you 
will neither heed his reproaches nor will you hearken 
to his words of praise. 

Some Incongruities 
Section 113. If a man who is over forty falls in 
love, but keeps it to himself, how can we blame 
him ? But for him to talk about love and lovers, 
and above all to flirt openly, is unbecoming and 


It is especially revolting to hear or to see old 
men mingling with youngsters and trying to join 
in their fun ; mere nobodies speaking to men 
of influence in the world as if they were intimate 
friends ; and those who delight to entertain guests 
ostentatiously, though they have but a poor house 
to do it in. 

An Incident at a River Crossing 

Section 114. Once when Oi Dono of the Imade 
River (Palace) was driving to Saga, he crossed the 
River Arisu at a spot where the water flowed in 
a strong current. Saio Maru was at the same time 
driving some oxen across, and they suddenly began 
to kick, splashing water on to the front of the 
carriage. Tamenori, who was sitting behind, said, 
* You insolent boy ! How dare you drive oxen over 
such a ford as this ? ' But Oi Dono with an angry 
look said, * You who drive my carriage are no better 
than Saio Maru. It is you who are an insolent 
man ! ' And at that he knocked the fellow's head 
against the side of the carriage. 

Saio Maru who was thus honoured was a servant 
of Uzumasa Dono, a drover of his household. 
Uzumasa Dono, I may add, had four ladies in his 
home whom he named, c Hizasachi ' (strong in the 
knees), 114 ' Kotozuchi ' (fat bull), ■ Hobara ' (big 
belly), and ' Oto-ushi ' (heifer). 


Two Gallant Priests 

Section 115. At a place called Shuku Gawara 
many boro-boro 115 * priests were once assembled 
praying for salvation, when a strange priest entered 
and asked, ' Pardon me, but is there anybody here 
known as Iro-oshi Bo ? ' One from among them 
answered, c I am Iro-oshi ; and who may you be, 
who speak thus ? ' He said, ' They call me Shira 
Boji, and I have heard that my teacher, whom 
men call so and so, has been murdered in the eastern 
provinces by a mendicant priest called Iro-oshi. 
I am hoping to come across this person, so as to 
take revenge on him, and that is why I asked.' 
Iro-oshi said, ' Your request is indeed a gallant one. 
What you have heard did take place. But if we were 
to meet face to face here, we should defile this sacred 
spot ; let us therefore adjourn to the dry bed of the 
river here in front. Ho ! good friends, pray do not 
help either of us ; for if too many get embroiled in 
this, it will interfere with the Buddhist services.' 
Settling it thus, both men went down together to 
the river bed and ran each other through to their 
heart's content, till they both died. 

I fancy there were no people called boro-boro in 
ancient times, and that the name has been recently 
derived from the boronji, bonji 9 115b and kanji priests. 
Alas ! that men such as these who pretended to have 
cast the world aside should be so strongly self-willed, 
and while professing to seek the Path of Buddha 


should be given to fighting. But though their 
conduct seems shamelessly obstinate, I consider 
them worthy of praise ; for heedless of death they 
did not cling to their lives. I record the incident 
just as it was told to me. 

Against Pedantry 

Section 116. When naming monasteries, nay, 
when giving names to many other things also the 
men of old took little thought, but freely gave names 
just as they happened to come. Nowadays, how- 
ever, we find men pondering over the question 
anxiously and trying to display their own erudition, 
which is indeed a great pity. In naming people 
also it is quite useless to employ characters with 
which one is not familiar. But in all matters, alas ! 
men of shallow intellect ever seek after oddities and 
love the abnormal. 

On Good and Bad Friends 

Section 117. There are seven kinds of friends 
who 117 are bad. First, those who are exalted in 
rank and position ; second, young men ; third, 
those with lusty constitutions who are never ill ; 
fourth, those who love strong drink ; fifth, those 
who are of an excitable disposition ; sixth, those 
who tell lies ; and seventh, those who are avaricious. 
There are also three kinds of friends who are good. 
First, those who are generous ; second, doctors ; and 
third, those who have wisdom* 


On Fish and Game 

Section 118. On the day you have carp soup the 
hair on your forehead is never untidy ; for it is such 
a glutinous fish that gum is made out of it. 

There is no more delicious fish than a carp — it is 
even carved in the presence of His Majesty ; while 
among birds the pheasant has no rival. Indeed, 
a pheasant and mushrooms are not distasteful even 
in the Royal dining apartment, though other things 
there would be out of place. 

(For example), a wild goose was once seen on 
the black shelf in the dining chamber of H.M. the 
Empress. The lay priest Kitayama Dono (her 
father) noticed it ; and as soon as he had returned 
home he wrote her a letter as follows : ' Never 
before has such a thing been seen placed there on 
the shelf. It is quite out of keeping, and it can only 
have been done because you have nobody of dis- 
crimination about you.' 

On the Bonito Fish 

Section 119. In the sea at Kamakura is a fish 
called the bonito, unrivalled in those parts and in 
these days greatly prized as a delicacy. However, 
the old inhabitants of Kamakura are wont to say, 
6 When we were young this fish was never served 
to people of discrimination. Even servants would 
not eat its head ; they used to cut it off and throw 
it away.' But in these modern times a fish like 
this is a dainty fit to set before the nobility* 


Against the Importation of Luxuries 

Section 120. As to Chinese things, apart from 
their medicine, we can do very well without them ; 
for their books are scattered far and wide in our 
land, and so they can be copied. 

Ships from China come over on their perilous 
voyage piled up and loaded down with useless cargo, 
which is very foolish. Is it not written in the books, 
4 Get not your wealth from far away,' and * Place no 
value upon riches which have been difficult to get ' ? 

Against Keeping Pet Animals 

Section 121. Of those animals which we keep 
and feed, it is pitiable to torment horses and cattle 
by tying them up ; but as we cannot do without 
them there is no help for it. A dog's duty is to act as 
a watch and guard ; and, as they are better at this 
than a man, they too must certainly be kept. But 
there is one in every household, so why should I keep 
one of my own ? 

Birds and beasts other than these are mostly of 
little use. Animals which would run off are con- 
fined in pens or chained up, and birds which would 
fly away have their wings cut or are put into cages ; 
but pining for the clouds and ever thinking of the 
wild mountains their grief knows no end. Thoughts 
such as these one can hardly bear — how can a man 
of feeling take pleasure thus ? To gladden your eyes 
by watching the torment of living creatures is 
worthy only of Ketsu 121 and Chu. 


The Prince Imperial Iu loved the birds and made 
friends of them as he watched their joy in the forest 
when out on his rambles. He never caught or tor- 
mented them. Moreover, it is stated in a certain 
book, c Rare birds and unusual animals should not 
be kept in our land.' 

The Accomplishments of a Gentleman 

Section 122. Now as to a man's accomplishments ; 
he must first of all be well read in books and familiar 
with the teaching of the sages. Next, though it be 
not his chief care, he should acquire a good hand- 
writing ; for it will assist him in his studies. Next 
he should apply himself to the art of medicine ; for, 
if he be not a doctor, he can neither keep himself 
in good health, help others, nor even be faithful 
in his duties to his parents and lord. Next come 
archery and riding, which are included in the six 122 
accomplishments ; he should certainly know some- 
thing of them. In fact he must not be without 
literary and military skill and some knowledge of 
medicine ; for, if he has these, he will not be called 
a man in vain. Then, as eating is natural to all, 
to be able to prepare a tasteful dish is a great 
advantage. And after that some technical ability 
(wood carving, &c.) is often of great service. 

In all matters other than these too great profi- 
ciency is a dishonour to a gentleman. As for the 
magical art of governing by the wonderful power of 
music and poetry, though both the Sovereign and 


his statesmen once thought highly of it, yet in these 
latter days it seems to be growing rare to rule a 
country thus. In the same way, though gold is very 
excellent, it cannot be compared with iron for 

The Necessities of Life 
Section 123. He who spends his time in doing 
profitless things should be regarded as either a fool 
or a very mistaken man. There are many duties 
which he must of necessity perform for his country 
and for his lord ; so he should reflect that he has 
little leisure for aught else. 

Among the real requirements of a man the chief 
one is food ; clothes are the second, and a home 
to live in is the third. Human necessities do not 
exceed these three. Happy is he who can live 
at peace without starving and without feeling the 
cold when attacked by wind and rain. But all 
men are liable to fall ill, and an attack of sickness 
is a calamity hard to endure ; so he should not 
forget how to treat disease. Adding medicine 
therefore (to the three others), he is poor who 
cannot attain these four things. He is rich who 
lacks not these four. He is luxurious who would 
strive for more than these four. And who is there 
who will not have ample, if he be thrifty in these 


An Example of Modesty 
Section 124. The priest Zeho was a scholar of 
whom the Jodo sect was not ashamed. Yet he did 
not display his accomplishments, but from sunrise 
to sunset passed his life peacefully in prayer, which 
was very meritorious of him. 

Two Very Foolish Sayings 

Section 125. Once, when we had been left behind 
by one (who had passed away), a worthy priest 
was requested to say a Mass for the Dead on the 
forty-ninth day, and at his touching address all 
were moved to tears. After his departure the 
congregation showed their warm approbation by 
saying, ' This day we have heard a singularly 
elevating discourse.' But some one added, 8 And 
no wonder, for he looked like a Dog of China ' ; 125 
whereat their sympathy cooled and they could not 
help smiling. But was that a fit kind of commenda- 
tion for an officiating priest ? 

Again, somebody once said, c To encourage a man 
to drink sake by first drinking yourself and then 
urging him to do the same is like wounding him with 
a sword ; but the blade has a double edge, and, as 
soon as you raise it, it will cut off your own head 
before it harms him — when you fall down intoxicated 
he will drink no more.' This sounds almost as if 
the fellow had tested it by cutting off his own head 
with a sword ; but that would be very absurd. 


A Good Rule for Gamblers 
Section 126. After repeated losses at gambling, 
when you wish to stake your very last remaining 
coin, your adversary should refuse to play any 
longer ; for he should remember that the time will 
come when you in return will have a run of good 
luck. Some say that the most successful gambler 
is he who keeps this time in mind. 

Against Modern Innovations 

Section 127. When reforms bring no benefit, 'tis 
better to leave things as they are. 

Against Cruelty to Animals 
Section 128. Masafusa no Dai-nagon being a very 
intelligent and judicious man, it was once proposed 
that he should be promoted to the rank of Com- 
mander-in-Chief. But a certain Court nobleman 
said, ' I saw a horrible deed done just now.' The 
ex-Emperor asked, * What was it ? ' and he said, 
•■ As I looked through a gap in the hedge, I saw my 
Lord Masafusa cut the foot off a live dog to feed 
his hawk ! ' His Majesty was shocked and offended, 
the royal patronage was no longer extended (to the 
culprit), and the proposed promotion was not given. 
Though it was certainly inconsiderate of a man 
like that to keep a hawk at all, it was not true about 
the dog's foot ; it was nothing but a miserable lie. 
But His Majesty's disapproval, when he heard of 
such a deed, showed an exceedingly noble heart. 

PP 817 g 


Speaking generally, a man who can take delight 
in killing living animals and causing them pain by 
making them fight for his amusement, is no better 
than are the brute beasts which prey upon one another. 
If we carefully consider the condition of the count- 
less birds and beasts, and even the tiniest of insects, 
we find the parents thinking fondly of their little 
ones, who in return pine for them when absent, and 
husbands and wives living together, feeling the 
pangs of jealousy and great passion. They love 
their own selves and greatly grudge giving up their 
lives, more even than do men, being less intelligent ; 
so how can it be other than very grievous to cause 
them pain or to deprive them of life ? The heart 
that is without pity for all beings that live is not 
a humane one. 

On Kind-heartedness 

Section 129. Gankwai 129a made it his aim to try 
never to be the cause of trouble or annoyance to 
others. You should not, therefore, persecute or 
oppress any one, nor should you deprive even the 
ignoble lower classes of what they seek to attain. 

Again, when you deceive or threaten a little child 
or make him feel ashamed, you do it only in fun. 
A grown-up person pays no attention, for he knows it 
means nothing ; but the little heart will be pierced 
with horror and its simple imagination smitten with 
genuine shame. It is not a kindly heart which can 
thus find pleasure in causing pain to others. 


(In the same way), though to a man of sense glad- 
ness, anger, sorrow, and delight are all illusion, yet 
who is not fascinated by their seeming reality ? 
And the damage they do to the heart is far more 
hurtful to a man than any injury to his body can be. 

When you fall ill, the ailment generally comes 
from the heart — any other kind of sickness is rare. 
You may swallow medicine to bring out the perspira- 
tion, but it is often ineffective ; yet each time that 
you feel shame or fear the perspiration never fails 
to flow, which proves that your heart was the cause 
of it. There is also the instance of the man whose 
hair became white after painting the tablet in the 
Ryo-un 129b (Palace). 

Against Vying with Others 

Section 130. Never contend with others. Though 
you do not yourself agree with a man, yet you 
should give way to him. 'Tis better to walk behind 
than to push in front. 

In games of all kinds men love to gamble simply 
for the pleasure of winning ; and it is a well-known 
fact that just as they enjoy their superiority in 
skill, so they get but little pleasure if they happen 
to lose. To lose intentionally, so as to gratify your 
adversary, quite spoils the enjoyment of playing ; 
but yet to cheer one's own heart by thwarting the 
wishes of another is contrary to moral rectitude. 

Even when playing with intimate friends, some 
deliberately cheat and enjoy the feeling of superiority 

G 2 



that they thereby attain ; but this is not in accor- 
dance with good manners. Many are the cases of 
lifelong enmities which originated first at a banquet, 
and all these are brought about by the love of 

The best way to surpass another is to excel him in 
wisdom by means of hard study. For if you would 
learn the Way, it teaches you not to be vain of your 
own virtues and in no case to enter into competition 
with others. It is the power gained by deep study 
that alone enables you to decline high office and 
to give up vast riches. 

On the Duty of Resignation 

Section 131. How subservient 131 is a pauper to 
riches, and an old man to lusty vigour ! 

When a man recognizes his own plight and at 
once gives in when he cannot attain (what he longs 
for), he will be called wise ; and if others would 
dissuade him, they make a great mistake. But if 
he does not realize his condition and still obstinately 
struggles on, it is he who is in the wrong. The 
pauper who does not accept his lot steals, and he 
who has lost his vigour and knows it not falls sick. 

On the Name of an Old Road 

Section 132. Toba-no-Tsukuri-Michi (the road 
that leads to Toba) was not so called after the Toba 
Palace, but dates from much further back. Is it 
not recorded in the Records of Prince Riho that the 


Crown Prince Motoyoshi's 132 New Year congratula- 
tions, proclaimed in a remarkably fine voice, were 
heard from the Daigoku Palace to Toba-no-T$ukuri- 
Michi ? 

On the Position or the Mikado's Bed 

Section 133. In the Mikado's Bedchamber the 
pillow is placed at the east end. This is done chiefly 
because for a man the influences 133a are more 
invigorating thus ; Confucius also slept with his 
head to the east. But when arranging other apart- 
ments, it is perhaps more usual to place the pillow 
at the south end. 

The retired Emperor Shirakawa, 133b on the con- 
trary, sought repose with his head to the north ; 
but the north is unlucky, and also Ise lies to the 
south, and some ask how anybody could point his 
feet at Daijingu ! But as a matter of fact when 
His Majesty prays towards Daijingu he faces 
south-east, and not south (i.e. from Kyoto, the 

On Knowing Yourself 

Section 134. It is related that a certain risshi, 
who had devoted the rest of his life to the priesthood 
in the Memorial Temple of the late Emperor Taka- 
kura, once took up a mirror and carefully examining 
his features decided with great sorrow that his was 
but an unsightly and ill-favoured face. As the 
mirror was so ruthlessly frank, for a long time after 


he shrank from it, and would not even take it in his 
hand ; and I have heard that he refused any longer 
to mix with others, but lived in retirement, excepting 
only when he was on duty in the temple. What 
a commendable thing to do ! 

However wise a man may seem to be, he is ever 
inclined to criticize others, though he has little 
knowledge of himself ; but never should he pretend 
to understand another, while he is ignorant of his 
own state. He who knows himself may indeed be 
regarded as a well-informed man. 

Not to know that your face is probably ugly, not 
to know that your heart is foolish, not to know 
that you are unaccomplished, not to know that you 
are a person of no importance, not to know that 
you are old in years, not to know that you are 
attacked by disease, not to know that your death 
is at hand, not to know that you are remiss in the 
practice of moral duties — if you know not all these 
failings of yours, much less will you know the faults 
that others see in you. 

Still, you may see your face in the mirror, you 
may count the years of your age ; so it is not that 
you do not know the truth about yourself, but that 
you cannot help it, which, I should say, is just as 
bad as being ignorant of it. To try to improve the 
face or to make the old man young again is no 
good either. If you know you are incapable, why 
do you not retire immediately ? If you know you 
are old, why do you not seek peace and tranquillity ? 


And if you know that your mode of living is foolish, 
why do you not take thought about it at once ? 

It is a shame for one who is not generally appre- 
ciated by others to mix in society. To serve your 
lord with an ill-favoured countenance or with a faint 
heart, to consort with those of great talent being 
yourself unlearned, to sit in line with the experts 
having yourself no accomplishments, to stand with 
those who are in the bloom of youth after you have 
put on your locks of snow — nay more, to wish for 
what you can never get, to fret over impossible 
things, to pine for what will never come, to fear men 
and also to fawn upon them, all this is no disgrace 
caused by others, but is your own dishonour, due 
to having been led on by your own covetous heart. 

And the reason that you cannot avoid these 
desires is that you entirely fail to realize that the 
great issue of the end of your life is ever at hand. 

An Example of Pride 

Section 135. A man who was known as the lay 
priest Sukusue Dai-nagon once met the Prime 
Minister General Tomo-uji and said, ' I think I can 
give you a reply to any question you like to ask me, 
whatever it be.' Tomo-uji said, * How can that 
be ? ' ' Well, at all events, give me a trial,' said the 
other. (The Prime Minister) said, 8 1 cannot ask 
you any clever question, for I am not at all well 
versed in that way. I may perhaps ask some foolish 
question of incoherent nonsense.' ' All the better,' 


said the other, c if it is only some shallow question 
of these parts. But whatever it be I will make it 
clear to you.' The courtiers and ladies-in-waiting 
said, ' It is quite an interesting contest. If you 
have no objection, will you test the matter before 
His Majesty ? And the loser shall be forced to pro- 
vide a dinner.' Having settled it accordingly, they 
met in the Royal Presence and Tomo-uji said, c Ever 
since my youth I have known the following by heart, 
but have never understood it, " Uma no kitsu 135 ryo 
kitsu ni no oka, naka kubore iri kurendo " ; I shall 
be much obliged if you can tell me what it means.' 
The Dai-nagon lay priest, suddenly taken aback, 
said, ' That is merely nonsense which cannot be 
explained.' But the other answered, ' We agreed at 
the beginning that I might ask nonsense, as I have 
no knowledge of clever subtleties.' And the Dai- 
nagon lay priest, having thus lost, was obliged to 
pay the forfeit handsomely. 

Another Example of Pride 

Section 136. Once when Dr. Atsushige was 
serving a repast in the presence of the late retired 
Emperor (Hanazono), he said, 6 Many different 
dishes are now offered to Your Majesty ; and, if 
Your Majesty deigns to ask me how the name of 
any one is written or what is its particular virtue, 
I will answer from memory. But Your Majesty 
will find, if you cause the Dictionary of Botany to be 
consulted, that I have not made a single mistake.' 

They met in the Royal Presence. 


Just then the late Lord Chamberlain Rokujo 136a came 
in and said, c Arifusa shall now take this opportunity 
to learn a thing or two ' ; he then asked, ' Well, 
what is the left-hand part of the character shio (salt)?' 

The other answered, ' It is tsuchi 136b ifc.' (Arifusa) 
said, c Your vast knowledge is already displayed ! 
That is quite sufficient. You have not much to be 
proud about.' And (the poor doctor) withdrew 
amid loud laughter. 

On Different Points of View 

Section 137. Is it only when the flowers are in 
full bloom and when the moon is shining in spotless 
perfection that we ought to gaze at them ? 

To ' watch the rain in the hope of seeing the 
moon ', 137a or to wonder c in your home detained 
whither can the spring have gone ', 137b deepens one's 
feelings of tenderness and sympathy. The twigs 
which bear no blossoms as yet and a garden strewn 
with withered petals are equally to be admired. 
Take the following verse headings, ' On going to 
look at the blossoms and finding them already scat- 
tered and passed away,' or, ' On being prevented by 
something from going ' ; are these in any way 
inferior to ' On viewing the blossoms ' ? When the 
petals are scattered, or the moon sinks down out 
of sight, we should fondly yearn to see them back 
again ; but he who is lacking in good taste merely 
says, c These branches have dropped their petals here 
and there, and are no longer worth viewing.' 


Most things should be looked at in their entirety. 
The love of sweethearts when they can see each other 
without interruption is hardly worthy of mention. 
But when they are sadly prevented from meeting, 
when they are troubled by their engagement being 
all in vain, when, spending the long night alone, 
their thoughts fly to the far away clouds and the 
regretted days of old in their now deserted hut, then 
indeed may they be said to know what love is. 

Incomparably more touching than gazing at a 
spotless full moon in other far distant lands is it 
to wait and watch till when near daybreak it appears 
pale and solitary above the branches of the cedars 
in the wild mountains, to note the shadows between 
the trees, and how all grows dim beneath the cluster- 
ing clouds as gentle rain begins to fall. 'Tis then 
that the leaves of the oak trees glistening in the 
wet pierce one to the heart, and make one long to get 
back to the capital and the society of one's friends. 

Is it only when we see them with our eyes that 
we should appreciate such things as the moon and 
the blossoms ? The spring without leaving the 
house, and a moonlight night while musing in one's 
chamber, are very helpful and charming. 

A man of taste does not ostentatiously display 
his admiration (for the blossoms), but he rather 
appears indifferent to the pleasure they afford him. 
A rough fellow from the country, however, admires 
everything enthusiastically. He worms his way 
close up to the flowers, and stands there taking good 


care never to glance aside, drinks his sake, caps his 
verse, and finishes by heartlessly tearing down a big 
branch ! Such a person (would defile) a spring by 
plunging in his hands and feet, or would leave tracks 
by stepping down on to the snow. It is the same in 
everything, he cannot admire from a reasonable 

It is very odd to see how men of this type watch 
a procession. 1370 They will say, ' The show is very 
late, and there is no need for us to wait here in the 
balcony till it comes ' ; and accordingly at the back 
of the house they drink sake, have something to eat, 
and play a game of draughts or backgammon. 
Then when the man who has been left on the balcony 
calls out, 8 It is coming ! ' each one in great excite- 
ment tries who can run upstairs the quickest, pushing 
out the blinds and crowding together till you would 
think they would fall over, and taking good care to 
miss nothing. ' Oh ! look there ! ' they cry at 
everything ; then after it has passed they go 
down again, saying, * And now for the next pro- 
cession.' Alas, all they care to see is the spectacular 

The better class people of the Capital almost go 
to sleep, and see very little of it at all. While not 
even their juniors and inferiors who sit or stand 
behind them like servants are so ill-mannered 
as to lean over them in an unbecoming attempt 
to see. 

The hollyhock decorations have, I know not why, 


a strange charm for me. As the day breaks well- 
appointed carriages quietly draw up, and I wonder 
whom this or that one belongs to ; until, perhaps, 
I recognize the drivers and servants. All this medley 
of beauty and magnificence coming and going 
allows me little time to look at (the procession itself). 
But at sundown where have all the lines of carriages 
and ranks of people gone to ? In a moment hardly 
any are left. The rattle of carriages is heard no 
more, the blinds and the mats are all cleared away, 
and while I watch nothing is left save solitude, 
reminding me touchingly of life itself. Truly 
indeed to watch the high road is as good as looking 
at a procession. 

As I recognize so many of the crowd whom I see 
passing to and fro in front of this balcony, the whole 
population of the world cannot be so very great 
after all. And, even if it should be my destiny not 
to die until all these have passed away, I shall not 
have very long to remain here. 

If a tiny hole is left open in a large barrel the 
water will escape ; and, though it appears to drip 
but slowly, if the leak be allowed to continue, the 
barrel will before very long become empty. There 
is no day on which many people do not die in the 
Capital. Think you it is only one or two each day ? 
On Toribe Moor, Funa-oka, and other wild mountains 
the funerals are often very numerous, and there is 
no day without a funeral at all. The coffins are 
always sold as soon as they are completed. To 


numbers of men, however young and lusty they be, 
the hour of their death comes unexpectedly. We are 
wonderfully lucky in having escaped up to to-day ; 
can we count ourselves safe even for a little while ? It 
is just like the game called c Casting out your step- 
sons \ 137d When the backgammon men are set out 
in a row, we know not which man it is who will be 
captured, but after counting them up one of them 
is taken ; and, though the others seem to have 
escaped, yet on counting them up again and again 
they are thinned out here and there, and who can 
hope to escape ? 

When a warrior goes forth to battle, knowing well 
that death is at hand, he forgets even his home and 
himself too. But to renounce the world and to 
amuse yourself peacefully in a grass hut with garden- 
ing, fondly imagining that you are beyond these 
dangers, has also its risks. Will not the enemy death 
come even into the peaceful depths of the mountains 
to contend with you ? And this kind of approaching 
death is no less dangerous than a charge on the 
field of battle. 

On keeping up Faded Decorations 

Section 138. A certain person said after the 
(Kamo) festival was over, that the hollyhock 
decorations were of no further use, and he ordered 
them all to be taken down from the screens. Though 
I felt that there was a lack of good taste in this, 
yet as he was a cultivated man I thought it might 


possibly be the correct thing to do. But still the 
Lady-in-Waiting Suwo wrote : 

Kakuredomo Vain the hollyhocks 

Kainaki mono wa Which we hung upon the screens 

Morotomo ni My true love and I ; 

Misu no aui no Faded are the flowers now, 

Kare-ba nari-keri, Faded too my lover's vow, 

and it is written in the Family Collection of her 
poems that it was of the faded hollyhock leaves 
hanging on the screen in her house that she sang. 
The title of an old verse runs, c On sending a gift of 
some withered hollyhocks,' and the Makura no 
Soshi speaks of ' The faded hollyhocks, a well-loved 
relic of days now passed away ' — how exceedingly 
elegantly is that expressed ! And Kamo no Chomei 
also wrote in his Shiki Monogatari, ' On the lovely 
screen still the hollyhocks remain, though the feast 
is o'er. 5 Surely it is sad enough to see them fade 
naturally ; how can any one relentlessly throw them 
away ? 

It is on the ninth day of the ninth month that they 
say the iris balls 138a which are hung on the curtains 
should be changed for chrysanthemums ; so the 
irises clearly should remain until chrysanthemums 
are in season. After the death of H.M, the Dowager 
Empress Biwa, when iris balls were hanging on the 
antique curtains, the Nurse Ben 138b seeing them 
sang : 

Ori naranu ne wo Suddenly are heard our cries, 

Nao zo kake-tsuru, And the iris also dies, 


to which the Mistress of the Bedchamber E re- 
plied : 

Ayame no kusa wa True the iris balls 

Ari nagara. Hang there threaded as you say. 

Proper Trees and Plants for the House 
Section 139. The pine and the cherry are the 
trees one likes best to have about the house ; of the 
former the five-leaved variety is the best, and of the 
latter single blossoms are better than double. The 
double cherry used to be found only in the capital 
of Nara, but in these modern days it is general in 
many parts of the world ; the blossoms at Yoshino 
and the Sakon cherry are both single. In fact the 
double cherry is an oddity, and so exaggerated and 
eccentric that it should not be cultivated at all. The 
late cherry, too, is a monstrosity, and those which 
harbour insects are a nuisance. The white plum and 
the pale pink plum of the single variety which 
blossom early, and the delicious fragrance of the 
double red plum are all delightful. But as the late 
plum flowers with the cherry, it is thrown into the 
background and is less valued ; its blossoms also 
wither while still on the branch, which is pitiful to 
see. The lay priest Kyogoku Chu-nagon used to say, 
i The single kind which flowers first scatters its 
petals, which is an excellent stimulant to the heart ' ; 
and therefore it was the single plum which he planted 
near the eaves of his house. To this day there are 
two of these trees on the south side of Kyogoku's 


house. The willow is also very charming, and a 
young maple about the fourth month is more lovely 
than all the blossoms or crimson autumn leaves. 
The orange, katsura, and any trees that are big and 
old are also very pleasing. 

For plants, you may have the kerria, wistaria, iris 
and pink, and in the pond a lotus. The plants for 
autumn are the reed, eularia grass, bell flower, bush 
clover, patrinia, agrimony, aster, great burnet, 
anthistiria grass, gentian, chrysanthemum and 
yellow chrysanthemum, Japanese vine, pueraria, 
and convolvulus ; any others that are small and do 
not grow too tall or in thick clumps are also good. 

Beyond these, plants which are rarities with 
difficult Chinese names and unfamiliar flowers have 
no great charm. In all cases we find that whatever 
is novel and hard to obtain pleases an uncultivated 
man ; but such things we can very well do without. 

Against Leaving Property after Death 

Section 140. No wise man ever leaves great 
wealth behind him when he dies. To hoard up use- 
less property is a mistake ; riches, which are only an 
impediment to the heart, are short-lived, and great 
opulence is still more to be regretted. There are 
those who will say hereafter, ' That should be mine ! ' 
and it is disgraceful to wrangle over what is left. 

Therefore, if you have made up your mind to 
whom you wish to leave your property, you should 
make it over to him during your lifetime. It is 


best to retain nothing beyond that which you really 
require from day to day. 

Two Ways of Refusing a Request for Alms 

Section 141. The Rev. Gyoren of the Hiden 
Temple, whose lay name was Mi-ura something or 
other, was also an unrivalled warrior. 

A man from his native village once came to him 
and in the course of conversation said, 6 One can 
always rely upon what a man from the eastern 
provinces says ; but a man from the Capital often 
gives a polite answer which is not true.' The sage 
replied, c Possibly it is as you say ; but I have 
lived long in the Capital, and now that I have come 
to know them better I do not think the people here 
are really as bad as that. They are by nature 
tender-hearted, and when one appeals to their 
sympathy they find it hard to give a flat refusal ; 
so often they do not speak decisively, but offer 
a rather weak excuse instead. They do not mean 
to tell a lie, but, as they are themselves mostly 
poor and needy, there are many who are unable 
to do as much as they would wish. Now the men 
of the eastern provinces, though it is my native 
place, are indeed discourteous and wanting in 
sympathy, but they are above all firm and decided 
and put an end to the matter at once by saying 
" no ". And, as they enjoy great prosperity, their 
word is at once accepted.' Thus the sage explained 
it ; but, as his speech was uncouth and provincial, 

PP 817 h 


I should hardly have expected him to have grasped 
such delicate niceties of Holy Doctrine. And after 
this in deep admiration for him I felt how beneficial 
it was that one who was so gentle should be Prior of 
that temple, rather than many another (who might 
have held the post). 

On Fellow-feeling 

Section 142. Even a man whom you might 
suppose to be devoid of feeling will on occasion 
make a good remark. 

An uncouth rustic of savage-like appearance 
once meeting a bystander asked, ' Have you any 
children ? ' The latter made answer, ' I have never 
had one.' ' Then,' said he, ' you cannot know what 
fellow-feeling is. To act with a heart devoid of 
humanity is very terrible, and, if you had a child of 
your own, it would arouse feelings of infinite pity 
within you.' And indeed it is just as he said. 
Except by the cultivation of natural affection, how 
can such hearts have any benevolence at all ? Even 
those who are remiss in filial piety understand the 
feelings of a parent when they have children of 
their own. 

They who have cast the world aside and are free 
from all (cares) are apt to look down with contempt 
upon him who, encumbered by many responsibilities, 
has to play the sycophant upon every occasion, in 
order to get what he needs must have. But to do 
so is wrong. For, when we look into his heart, how 


great must be his affliction ! For the sake of his 
parents, for the sake of his wife and little ones, 
heedless of disgrace, he will commit even theft. 

Therefore, rather than the punishment of thieves 
and the conviction of wrong-doers, would that the 
world were so ordained that no one should ever feel 
hunger or cold. He who has no definite property- 
has no definite conscience, and at the last extremity 
that man will steal. As long as the world is ill- 
governed and people suffer from cold and hunger 
wrong-doing will never cease. And it is unreasonable 
to punish one who, owing to the sufferings of his 
family, transgresses the law. 

Now, as to how we should help these people : if 
the upper class would refrain from squandering 
money on luxuries, and would pacify the people by 
promoting agriculture, there can be no doubt the 
lower class would benefit. 

He who, after having been supplied with sufficient 
clothes and food, will still commit a felony may 
indeed be justly branded as a thief. 

On Describing a Man's Last Hours 

Section 143. We sometimes hear people telling 
how well a certain man died ; and, if they merely 
say that his end was peaceful and free from agitation, 
that is well enough. But he who is foolish lays 
stress upon anything which was strange or different 
from usual, and praises (or blames) according to his 
own individual taste the last words spoken and the 

h 2 


last action performed ; though well we know that 
such a thing would not have been approved of by 
the dead man. 

This great epoch of one's life cannot be fixed 
with certainty even by the saints, it cannot be fore- 
told even by the wisest of teachers. And, if our 
conscience is at ease, we need pay little heed to how 
we may appear to the eyes and ears of others. 

An Involuntary Prayer 

Section 144. Once, as the priest of Toga no O 
was passing along the road, a man who was washing 
a horse in the river called to it, ' Ashi ashi ' (lift up 
your hoof). His Reverence stopped and said, c Ah, 
how I like to hear that ! You are, I am sure, a 
worthy man and have acquired merit in former 
lives ; for are you not repeating the text "Aji aji " ? 
Whose horse is that ? it must surely be a very holy 
one.' The man answered, ' It belongs to Fusho 
Dono.' c Oh, better and better ! ' said the priest. 
6 The text runs "Aji Hon Fusho " ; 144 what a happy 
coincidence that is ! ' And he wiped away his tears 
of emotion. 

A True Prediction 

Section 145. The attendant Hada no Shigemi 
once said, 6 The lay priest Shimotuske Shingwan of 
the Imperial Body Guard is a man who looks to me 
as if he would have a fall from his horse ; he should 
be particularly careful.' Shingwan himself, how- 


ever, thought differently ; but eventually he did 
fall from his horse and was killed. 

As this one remark showed such wonderful know- 
ledge, people thought he must be gifted with super- 
natural powers ; and somebody asked, * Well, how 
could you tell that ? ' And the reply was, ■ He was 
a very bad rider, yet he loved a high-spirited horse, 
and I made my prognostication accordingly. Have 
I ever made a mistake yet ? ' 

Another True Prediction 

Section 146. Bishop Myo-un once met a physio- 
gnomist and asked, ' Is there any calamity likely to 
befall me in connexion with weapons of war ? ' and 
the physiognomist answered, ' In truth it looks to me 
as if there is.' 'What makes you say that ? ' he asked; 
and the reply was, ' You, my Lord, are one who is 
never likely even for a moment to be in danger of 
bodily wounds, and yet such a thought has occurred 
to you and you have asked me this. Here already 
is a sign of danger.' 

And indeed it turned out later on that he was 
struck by an arrow and died. 

On Cauterizing too Frequently 

Section 147. Nowadays men say that one who 
has been cauterized in too many places is unclean 
for taking part in any Shinto ceremonies. But in 
the codes of Ranks and Customs we are not told so. 


On Cauterizing an Old Man 
Section 148. When cauterizing those who are 
forty years of age and upwards, they will have a rush 
of blood to the head unless it is done just under the 
knee. This is certainly the place to do it. 

The Danger of Smelling Hartshorn 

Section 149. One should never put hartshorn to 
the nose to smell. It is said that tiny animalculae 
pass from it through the nose and consume the 

On Perseverance in Youth 

Section 150. It is generally said, that he who 
would learn some special accomplishment should not 
be seen indiscreetly in public while still imperfect ; 
for, if he remain in private until well versed in his 
art, and then come forth, he will make a greater 
impression. But he who adopts this plan will never 
really master a single accomplishment at all. 

He who mixes with the experts while he is himself 
still stiff and imperfect, and is not ashamed when 
others laugh and mock at him, will enjoy overcoming 
such discouragement ; and, though he have not the 
natural talent for it, he will not lag far behind the 
others. If he spend years at it not without care, 
he will at last attain a higher level of efficiency than 
the expert who grows careless, and his success will 
be great. He will gain public recognition and a 
peerless reputation. Yet, though he is now the 
cleverest in the whole world, he was at the beginning 


considered incompetent, and great was his dishonour. 
So, then, the man who learns his trade honestly and 
pays strict attention to it, if he be not dissolute, 
will become the teacher of all others and greater even 
than the professors themselves. This is true for 
all kinds of accomplishments. 

Against Unreasonable Persistence in Old Age 

Section 151. Somebody says that, if at the age 
of fifty you have not yet attained proficiency in any 
particular art, you should give it up altogether ; for 
no further efforts on your part will avail. Not that 
people will ever laugh at an old man ; but to see 
him still competing with others is unpleasant and 

On the whole, to wind up your different interests 
as soon as possible and to live at your ease is the 
best thing to aim at ; for he who spends all his days 
meddling in the world's affairs is foolish indeed. 
Should there be some art which you would fain ac- 
quire, having taken some lessons and having gained 
some slight knowledge of it, you should learn no more. 
But far better is it to retire without having had any 
such desires at all. 

A Sublime Picture 

Section 152. Once, when the Rev. Jonen of the 

Saidai Temple, bent with age, and whose white 

eyebrows showed him to be indeed a venerable 

man of great merit, was going to the Palace, the 


Lord Chamberlain of the Saion Temple expressed 
his feelings of admiration by saying, c Ah, what a 
sublime picture is he ! ' Suketomo Kyo, on hearing 
it, said, ' That must be because of his great age. 5 

So on a subsequent occasion he went to the Lord 
Chamberlain leading a miserable unkempt dog, old 
and decrepit, with bald patches on its body, and said, 
' Here is another of your sublime pictures ! ' 

A Noble Example 
Section 153. Once, when the lay griest Tamekane 
Dai-nagon had been captured, 153 and was being 
conducted under a guard of soldiers to Rokuhara, 
this same Suketomo Kyo, as he watched him pass 
along First Avenue, exclaimed, ' Ah, how enviable 
is he ! A gratification in one's life such as that is 
indeed a thing to be desired.' 

On Deformities 
Section 154. This same man (Suketomo Kyo) 
was once sheltering from the rain in the gate of the 
To Temple, where were gathered together many 
cripples with twisted arms and distorted legs bent 
backwards. Noting their various peculiar deformi- 
ties he thought, 8 These are all very strange freaks, 
and are certainly well worth preserving.' But, when 
he looked at them more closely, he soon lost all 
pleasure in them and, regarding them as ugly and 
vile, thought, c Surely there can be nothing better 
than the usual upright form.' So on his return 


home, his well-loved little trees, which he had 
collected and carefully trained into queer shapes 
to make his eyes glad, from that time forth no longer 
gave him any pleasure ; for he felt that to love 
them was like loving those cripples. Accordingly 
he dug up and threw away all his dwarf trees that 
he had cultivated in little pots. 

Thus should we too feel about these things. 

On the Duty of Preparing for Death 

Section 155. He who adopts a worldly career 
must above all have regard for the feelings of 
others. For, when the occasion is inopportune or the 
subject offensive to the ears and contrary to the 
sentiments of his fellows, he will do no good by 
pursuing it. This is a matter which he must ever 
keep in mind. 

But at the birth of a child, or in cases of illness 
or death, one cannot afford to be too punctilious ; 
for these emergencies cannot be put off because 
the occasion is inopportune. The constant changes 
of birth, life, illness, and death, which are truly 
of transcending importance, are like nothing so 
much as a mighty river surging and rolling forward ; 
it cannot be checked even for a moment, but ever 
continues to flow on. Therefore, both for priests 
and laity, as this change must of necessity be carried 
through, no thought should be taken of the feelings of 
others, but utterly careless of what the consequences 
may be the foot should not falter on its course. 


To say that summer does not begin until the spring 
has passed away, and that autumn sets in only when 
the summer is over, is incorrect. For spring at once 
begins to prepare us for the warmth of summer, 
which in turn passes on to the feeling of autumn 
before the real autumn chill sets in. During the 
tenth month we have the genial Indian summer, 
the grass turns green and the plums begin to bud, as 
the leaves fall from the trees ; but we must not 
think that it is only after they have fallen that the 
budding begins. They fall because they cannot 
resist the sprouting buds from beneath. (The tree) 
welcomes its new vitality, and eagerly awaits the 
time when it rises from below. 

In just the same way do the rotation of birth, old 
age, sickness, and death pass by. But the order of 
the four seasons is fixed, while none know the time 
of death ; it comes not from in front, but ever 
presses on from behind. All men know indeed the 
fact of death, but as they do not realize its urgency 
it finally comes upon them unexpectedly. 

When the sands are dry the sea appears very far 
away ; but ere long the flowing tide will sweep up 
over the shore. 

A Daijin's Banquet 

Section 156. When a Daijin is appointed, the 

banquet is generally held in some hall which is 

borrowed (from the Imperial Family). Uji Sa-daijin 

Dono's was held in the Higashi Sanjo Palace. His 


Majesty was in residence at the time, and on 
receiving the request he graciously removed else- 
where. But there was no special necessity for all 
this, as there was a precedent for borrowing the 
apartments of H.M. the Empress Dowager. 

On Associated Ideas 

Section 157. When we take up a pen we think 
of writing ; when we take up a musical instrument 
we think of tones ; when we take up a wine-bowl 
we think of sake ; and when we take up dice we 
think of gambling. The idea associated with it 
ever accompanies the object itself ; never, therefore, 
even for a moment should we dally with what is not 

If we merely glance cursorily at a single line of the 
Sacred Book, we apprehend the context both before 
and after, and thus in a moment may the sins of 
many a year be wiped out ; and if we had not 
opened the book just at that moment, how could 
we ever have realized this ? Herein we see the 
advantage of the association of ideas. Though the 
heart be not stirred anew, yet, if we stand before 
a Buddha with a rosary and take up the Scriptures 
even negligently, a good work is automatically per- 
formed ; if we sit in the posture of contemplation, 
though our thoughts be elsewhere, we are unwittingly 
deep in meditation. 

The deed and the idea associated with it are in 
reality but one and the same ; and if the act itself 


does not cause us to offend, our minds will by it 
without doubt be made more perfect. Be not 
obstinately sceptical about this, but reverential and 

The Dregs in a Wine Bowl 

Section 158. Somebody once asked me, 'Why 
is it that one throws away the dregs at the bottom 
of a wine-bowl ? ' And I said, ' Well, if you take the 
word sediment as gyo-do ^ ^g^ surely you may 
throw away what solidifies (^) at the bottom 
(&§*)•' But he replied, 'No, it is not so; it is 
gyo-do ^ ^ (fish track 158 ), and any drops that 
may be left behind are to cleanse the place which the 
mouth has touched.' 

The Name of a Knot 

Section 159. A certain person of high rank tells 
me, ' A mina-musubi knot is a row of knots tied in 
a cord, and is so called because it looks like a mina 
shell (fresh water snail).' It is quite wrong, there- 
fore to call it ' nina '. 

Some Common Errors of Speech 

Section 160. It is not right when hanging up 
a tablet over a doorway to talk of ' fastening it up '. 
Ni Hon Zemmon of Kade no Koji speaks of ' hanging 


up a tablet '. Nor is it correct, either, to ' fasten 
up ' a balcony for some show or procession. It is 
quite usual to talk of 6 fastening down ' a wooden 
floor, but for a balcony you should say c build '. It 
is wrong, too, to say ' burn ' an invocation by fire ; 
you may say ' practise ' it, or * invoke by fire \ 
And it is incorrect to pronounce the ^ of gyo-bo 

^T fefe as ' h ° '• Tlle bishop of the Seikan Temple 
says it should be called ' bo \ 

In our general conversation there are many cases 
of this sort. 

The Time for Cherry Blossoms 

Section 161. It is said that the blossoms are at 
their best 150 days after the shortest day of winter 
(May 21) ; or seven days after the spring equinox 
(March 28). It will not be far wrong, therefore, to 
put it at about the seventy-fifth day from the 
beginning of spring (April 20). 

A Dastardly Deed 

Section 162. The curate of the Hen jo Temple 
was in the habit of feeding the birds on the pond. 
One day he scattered food for them up to and even 
within the temple itself, leaving only one door open ; 
and when I know not how many had entered, he 
himself went in, shut the door, and began to seize 
and kill them ! This dastardly deed became known ; 


for a boy who was cutting grass heard (the noise) and 
told people about it. The villagers all arose, went 
in, and saw for themselves the priest in the midst of 
a number of terrified geese killing them by knocking 
some down and twisting (the necks of) others. They 
seized him and carried him thence to the police 
station ; the slaughtered birds were hung round his 
neck, and he was cast into prison. 

This was done during the time that Mototoshi 
Dai-nagon was Superintendent of Police. 

A Point in Calligraphy 
Section 163. There was a difference of opinion 
among some astrologers as to whether the HJ£ of 
HJ£ ^ (taisho, the fourth month) should be written 
with the dot, or without it. And the lay priest 
Morichika said, c On the inside of the pages of a book 
on divination belonging to the Regent Konoe are 
some notes in the handwriting of Yoshihira, and 
there it is written with the dot.' 

On Gossip 

Section 164. Men of the world, when they meet, 
can never, even for a moment, refrain from speaking ; 
they are at no loss for words. But if you listen to 
them, their talk is nearly always profitless — mere 
worldly gossip true or false about others, which does 
much harm and little good either to themselves or 


to anybody else. And, as they chatter on, little do 
they realize what harm they are doing to each other's 

Against the Tendency to Wander 

Section 165. Men from the eastern provinces 
mingle with the people of the Capital, while the 
latter go into the country to improve their worldly 
state ; and priests, too, of known and unknown 
creeds desert their temples and monasteries to mix 
with those whose manner of life is very different 
from their own. All of which is sad to see. 

An Image of Snow 

Section 166. When we consider the tasks that 
men toil and labour at, it is as if, an image of snow 
having been made in the warm spring sunshine, one 
were to work hard to decorate it with gold and 
silver pearls and jewels, and then to build a temple 
with a pagoda for it to live in. But can one expect 
to finish the building and install it there safely ? 

As long as life lasts, very many are the pursuits 
that we aim at, though all the time we are melting 
away underneath, just like the snow. 

On Humility 

Section 167. When a man, whose interests are in 
any one particular kind of skill, sits to watch a dis- 
play of another kind, he says, ' Now, if this were my 
own subject I should not be looking on so disinter- 


estedly.' Thoughts like this are not unusual, but 
I consider them much to be regretted. Rather 
should he envy the ability which he has not himself 
got and should say, c Ah, how enviable ! Why have 
I never studied this ? ' 

To thrust forward your own knowledge in compe- 
tition with others is like a horned beast lowering its 
head (to strike), or a sharp-toothed animal snapping 
its jaws. 

A man who does not glory in his virtuosity in com- 
petition with his fellows is a good man ; for to strive 
to excel others is a great mistake. Those who are 
of high rank, or of surpassing ability, or who come 
of a famous family think themselves superior to 
others ; and, even though they do not say so in so 
many words, they are guilty of no slight offence. 
With care and watchfulness should they strive to 
forget such things. For it is conceit like this which 
alone makes one look ridiculous, which causes one 
to be contradicted by others and invites calamity. 

When a man truly excels in any one speciality, he 
knows well in his own mind how deficient he is, and 
therefore his aim (at perfection) being never attained, 
he ends by never being vain of his accomplishment. 

On the Reputation of the Aged 

Section 168. When one who is well advanced in 
years is such an authority on any particular subject 
that people say, c When this man dies, to whom can 
we refer ? ' his life as a champion of the aged is not 


wasted. Though granting this, it follows that he 
has never cast aside his particular study, but has 
devoted his whole life to it, which seems rather 
a pity. 

In many cases (when he is referred to), even 
though he really has the knowledge, he may by 
answering off-hand (fall into error), and people 
would then wonder if he were really as clever as 
they had heard. So let him say, 6 I have forgotten 
for the moment,' or, c Mistakes creep in of their own 
accord and I cannot be absolutely certain,' and then 
people will think more than ever that he is indeed 
a true master in his own subject. 

But sadder even than this is it to listen and think, 
' That is quite incorrect,' while one who should not 
really touch upon the matter at all is arrogantly 
speaking of what he knows nothing about. 

A Mistaken Idea Corrected 
Section 169. Some affirm that c shiki ', meaning 
any kind of ceremony, is a modern word which was 
never in use until the days of H.M. Go Saga. But 
the Lady Ukyo, formerly an attendant upon Her 
Majesty Kenrei Mon In, 169 wrote later on, when she 
was residing (at Court) after the accession of the 
Emperor Go Toba to the throne, c The ceremonies 
(shiki) of the times have not been changed in any 



On Visiting 

Section 170. It is not well to go to another man's 
house without any particular object. If you call 
on a matter of business, you should leave as soon as 
ever it is concluded. It is bad manners to remain 
a long time. 

As you sit opposite to each other many are the 
words that pass causing weariness to the flesh and 
no relief to the mind. Countless other matters too 
are interrupted by this waste of time, and neither 
of you derives the least benefit from it. 

But it is wrong (for the host) to betray by his 
conversation that he is wearied. If the visit is 
inconvenient, let him say so at once. 

All this, however, does not apply to such a case, 
for example, as when (the host) being at leisure and 
thinking it would be pleasant to chat with a con- 
genial friend may say, ' Well, to-day, just for a few 
moments let us give our minds a rest '. We may all on 
occasion have green 17 ° (hospitable) eyes, like Genseki. 

For it gives one pleasure when a visitor drops in 
without any particular object, has a quiet chat and 
then returns home ; it is very agreeable also to get 
a note after a long silence merely asking how you 

On Right Self-Conduct 

Section 171. When a man is playing the shell 
game, 171 if he neglects the shells in front of him 
and casts his eyes across for those which may be 
covered by the sleeves or the knees of others, the 


shells in front of him will be matched by his adver- 
sary while he is looking round. A good player never 
seems to pick his shells unduly from other places, 
but takes those close at hand, and he matches the 
most. So, too, when you place a counter on the 
corner of the goban board to fillip ; you will not hit 
if your eyes are fixed upon the counters opposite as 
you fillip. You should look well to your own neigh- 
bourhood, and if your shot is true along the squares 
near you, the counter you are playing will surely hit 
its mark. 

In matters of every kind look not elsewhere for 
what you require, but see that your own conduct is 
correct. In the words of Seiken Ko, ' Do what is 
right and seek not to read the future \ 

In governing the State it is the same also. If you 
yourself are not circumspect but are led astray by 
your heedlessness, then only when the distant pro- 
vinces have broken out in rebellion, as they will 
surely do, will you begin to seek from others some 
means (to suppress them). The same idea is found 
in the Book of Medicine, ' He is a fool who exposes 
himself to the wind and lies upon damp ground, 
and then complains to the Gods that he is ill \ 
Lighten the troubles of those before your eyes, be 
charitable, and keep strictly to the Way, and your 
good influence will flow far and wide ; but few men 
know this. U went forth and subjugated Sambyo ; 
but a far greater thing was it when he withdrew his 
troops and taught the people virtue. 



On Youth and Age 

Section 172. ' When young you 172 have too much 
animal spirits.' Many are the desires and passions 
of your easily excited heart, and thoughtlessly you 
run into danger and destruction as easily as a ball 
rolls. Delighting in magnificence you squander 
your resources, and having got rid of them you 
appear in rags the colour of the moss ; your impas- 
sioned heart grows emboldened, you are given to 
contention, feel envy and mortification when any- 
thing takes your fancy, and remain restless from 
day to day. Caring only to copy the example of those 
who give themselves up to love, frivolity, and 
luxury, who ill-use their bodies which should last 
for a hundred years or who throw away life itself, 
you think little of good health and long life, but are 
dragged on by your infatuated heart and become 
the subject of talk for long after. In fact, to injure 
the body is the work of the days of your youth. 

The old man, on the contrary, finds his mental 
powers fail ; he becomes simple and heedless, nor 
will anything arouse him to admiration or excitement. 
His heart being naturally torpid, he does nothing 
that he can help. Guarding well his own health 
he is free from anxiety about it, but ever has to 
think of the trouble he is causing to others. 

Just as a youth excels an old man in elegance, 
so an old man excels a youth in wisdom. 


On the Poetess Ono no Komachi 
Section 173. The facts about Ono no Komachi 
are not known with any certainty, but the days of 
her decline are to be found mentioned in a book 
called Tamatsukuri. This book according to some 
was written by Kiyotsura, although it is entered 
in the catalogue of the works of the great teacher 
Koya (Kobo Daishi). The great teacher died at 
the beginning of the showa period (a.d. 834-48), 
and I doubt whether Ono 173 was not in her prime 
after that. 

On Following the Way 
Section 174. They say that, if a dog which is good 
for a small hawk is worked with a large hawk, he 
becomes quite useless for small hawks again ; and 
that may well be true, for one ever forsakes the 
small after having once taken up the great. 

Now, of all the many interests that men take up, 
none is greater than the joy of (following) the Way. 
This is a great truth. When once you have heard 
the Way and made up your mind to follow it, what 
is there you will not forsake ? what else is there you 
can possibly undertake ? Surely even a foolish man 
is not inferior to the instinct of an intelligent dog ! 

On Drinking 
Section 175. There are many things in life which I 
cannot understand. (For example), it is ever a wonder 
tome why some people on every opportunity forth- 
with delight to urge and constrain others to drink sake. 


The face of one who is drinking shows that he is 
suffering severely. With wrinkled brows he watches 
the eyes of the others, so as to seize an opportunity 
to throw away (his wine) and escape. If he is 
detained and forced to drink against his will, even 
a man of refinement will quickly turn into a ridicu- 
lous lunatic ; while one who is perfectly healthy 
becomes before your very eyes seriously ill and falls 
prone, utterly ignorant of all that is going on 
around him. How foolish to spend a fete day 
thus ! Till the morrow with aching head and unable 
to eat he lies there moaning. He knows as little 
of yesterday's doings as if he had been severed from 
his former life ; public and private business alike he 
drops, so indisposed is he. To cause another to 
make such an exhibition of himself as this is not 
charitable, and is quite contrary to good manners ; 
while he who meets with such a trying experience 
will surely look back at it with bitter regret. If 
nobody ever did the like here and we heard that it 
was a common custom among men of other lands, 
should we not think it very strange and extra- 
ordinary ? 

At all events, the effect it had (recently) upon 
certain people was deplorable. One who is generally 
admired as an intellectual man quite lost his reserve 
and grew verbose, shouting with laughter ; with 
his cap on one side, his ribbons untied and (his 
dress) lifted high up his legs, from his disgraceful 
appearance you would never have recognized his 

The effect it had (recently) upon certain people was deplorable. 

P. 134 


usual self. A woman openly pushed back the hair 
from her forehead, and with a total lack of all 
modesty held up her face, giggled, and seized the 
hand of him who held the wine-cup. A rude fellow, 
too, grabbed a piece of food and pushed it into 
another's mouth, himself meanwhile gobbling in an 
impolite manner. Then shouting at the top of their 
voices they all began to sing and dance. A priest, 
alas, of venerable age ! was called in, who bared his 
shoulders black with dirt, so that even the spectator 
who might have been entertained by his wondrous 
contortions was offended and disgusted. While 
one feebly laughing told amazing tales about his 
good self, another half drunk began to weep, and 
the lower class cursed and swore at each other and 
began to brawl — a disgracefully vile (exhibition). 
It was all very shameless and sad. In the end they 
seized hold of what is forbidden (drew a sword ?), 
and tumbling from the balcony or else from a horse 
or carriage got badly hurt. One whose rank did 
not allow him to ride staggered along the high road 
and lurching up against a wall or a gate scattered — 
I really cannot bring myself to say what ! And the 
priest, alas, of venerable age ! without his scarf and 
supporting himself upon the shoulder of a little child, 
reeled along babbling unintelligibly. An edifying 
sight indeed ! 

How can such a state of things as this be profitable 
for one either in this world or in the next ? In this 
world, it is the cause of much tribulation, the loss of 


money, and the acquisition of sickness ; for though 
it is said to be better than a hundred medicines, it 
is in reality from sake that innumerable ailments 
arise. Though it is said to make one forget trouble, 
it is the drunkard who weeps as he thinks of his 
sorrowful past. As for the next world, it is through 
it that faculties fail, good deeds are burned up as if 
by fire, sins accumulate, and countless command- 
ments are broken, so that one is cast into hell. c He 
who takes sake and forces another to drink will be 
re-born five hundred times without his hands.' Such 
was the teaching of Buddha. 

Though you may well think that such a thing 
should be avoided, yet there are times when one 
can scarcely do without it. On a moonlight 175 
night, a morning after a fall of snow, or when 
beneath the blossoms with your heart at peace you 
are conversing, to pass round a cup of wine adds 
much to the general enjoyment. Or some day 
when you are not busy, if a friend unexpectedly 
drops in, it cheers the heart to make a little festivity. 
It is exceedingly gratifying, also, to be handed, as 
a sign of great favour, some holy fruit and sake from 
behind the screen in a certain very sacred precinct 
(the Imperial Apartments). Then in some cosy nook 
in winter with an intimate friend it is delightful to 
sit and cook a morsel over the fire and to drink 
deeply with him. Or if in the wilds of the mountains 
(you stop) at an inn on your travels, perhaps some 
one may say, ' What about a little refreshment ? ' 


and then it is pleasant to sit on the grass and drink. 
It is good, too, even for one who is a non-drinker to 
take a little when urged to do so. And how delight- 
ful it is when one who is of especial distinction is 
pleased to say, c Now, one more ; just a little drop ! ' 
It is pleasing also to grow confidential (over a cup 
of sake) with a hard drinker whose acquaintance 
you wish to improve. 

In spite of all I have said, one who drinks is often 
quite entertaining, and so we condone his failing. 
(For instance) when fatigued with drink he sleeps 
late in the morning and his master accordingly has 
to open the house, with confused and bewildered 
looks, his scanty queue undone and without dressing, 
he bundles his clothes up into his arms and runs off 
dragging them behind him like a woman's skirt, his 
thin hairy old legs giving a delightfully comic touch 
to it all. 

A Royal Example of Humility 

Section 176. The Mikado of Komatsu (i.e. Koko) 
ascended the Throne when he was but a common 
person ; and never forgetting that in former days 
he used to perform the domestic duties himself, he 
continued to cook his own food, and the Black Door 
is (the name of) the room where he did it. It is 
called so from the fact that it is blackened with 
smoke from his cooking fire. 


On Timely Forethought 

Section 177. H.R.H. the Steward of the House- 
hold at Kamakura once gave a game of football (at 
which I was present). Rain had been falling, and 
the ground was not yet properly dried, so he began 
to consider what should be done. The lay priest 
Sasaki Oki, however, loaded a number of trucks 
with sawdust which he begged to present, and this 
was rolled into the ground, so that it was no longer 
spoiled by mud. 

The company were much impressed by such 
wonderful forethought in having it ready. But 
Yoshida no Chu-nagon said, when reference was 
made to it, 6 Surely there should have been some dry 
sand kept in readiness,' and I felt quite ashamed 
about it ; for the sawdust which had been thought 
so good was in reality but a vulgar substitute. 
According to ancient custom the man charged with 
the superintendence of the gardens should always 
have dry sand ready. 

A Mistake Corrected 
Section 178. On a certain occasion when some 
samurai were telling about a kagura dance they had 
been watching in the Palace Shrine, they said, ' — and 
this man carried the Sword of State \ But a lady- 
in-waiting, who belonged to the Palace, heard it and 
very happily whispered, ' When His Majesty pro- 
ceeds to the Sacred Temple (for the kagura dance), 


it is the Day Pavilion Sword which is used '. Now 
this lady, it seems, had for many years been a server 
in the Temple. 

The Aspect of an Indian Temple 

Section 179. The Rev. Nisso no Shamon Dogen 
brought with him (from China) a complete set of 
the Sacred Writings, which he carefully installed at 
Yakeno, near Rokuhara, preaching in particular 
from the Shuryogon Scripture, and he named the 
place Naranda Temple. 

The sage was wont to say, c Ko Sotsu is said to 
have taught that the great gate of the (original) 
Naranda Temple (in India) faced north, but I cannot 
find it so stated in the Sai-iki or the Hokken Records. 
In fact there is no definite statement about it at all, 
and it is not clear what Ko Sotsu in his wisdom 
exactly did say ; but there is no doubt that the 
Saimyo 179 Temple in China faces north.' 

A Ceremony Explained 

Section 180. Sagicho is a ceremony in the first 
month when the three mallets with which (the balls) 
are struck are taken from the Shingon Temple to 
the Shinsen Garden and there burned. The words, 
4 In the pond of the answered prayer,' 180 as sung at 
the ceremony, refer to the pond in the Shinsen 


A Children's Verse 

Section 181. A certain learned man says that in 

the words : 

Fure fure ko-yuki Fall, fall, powdered snow, 

Tamba no ko-yuki. Tamba' s powdered snow, 

the snow is called powdered because it is like sifted 

rice flour. (The second line) should be, ' Pile up 

powdered snow,' for the name ' Tamba ' is a mistake ; 

and (the third line) should run : 

Kaki ya ki no mata ni On hedges and the forks of trees. 

Has it not been repeated thus ever since the days 

of long ago ? The ex-Emperor Toba, when he was 

a little boy, used to say it in just those words when 

snow was falling, as is recorded in Sanuki no Suke's 


On Dried Salmon 

Section 182. Some salmon which had been dried 
alive was once served before His Majesty, and Lord 
Shi jo Dai-nagon Takachika, hearing somebody say, 
' It cannot be correct to serve such a strange (and 
cruel) dish as that,' said, ' If no salmon at all was 
ever offered to His Majesty, it might be as you say ; 
but as it is, why not salmon dried alive ? Is he not 
served with trout which have been dried while still 
living ? ' 

On Dangerous Domestic Animals 

Section 183. When a bullock has tossed a man 
its horns are cut off, and when a horse has bitten 
anybody its ears are clipped, to mark them (as 
dangerous) ; for it is an offence on the part of the 


owner to allow others to get hurt for want of a sign 
to warn them. Nor should a dog that bites people 
be kept either. All these are crimes and forbidden 
by law. 

A Wise Mother 

Section 184. The mother of Tokiyori, Governor 
of Sagami, was named the Nun (or widow) Matsu- 

Once when (her son) the Governor had been invited 
to visit her, the Nun with her own hands set about 
mending the paper windows which had become 
torn and fouled with smoke, cutting the paper with 
a small knife. Her elder brother Yoshikage, a 
Castle official, who was making arrangements for 
the great day, said, c Pray let me give it to some 
man or other to do, somebody who is especially 
skilled at work of that kind '. But she replied, ' The 
Nun rather thinks she will do it as skilfully as the 
man you suggest,' and she went on mending it pane 
by pane. Yoshikage again said, ' It would be far 
easier to re-paper the whole thing ; and besides the 
patches look unsightly ' ; and she made answer, 
1 The Nun proposes later on to re-paper it entirely, 
but on the present occasion she would prefer to do 
the work thus. Young people should learn the 
principle of using what has been damaged and 
mended, and that is the object she has in her mind.' 
How very praiseworthy was this ! The teaching of 
thrift and economy is indeed the correct way to 
govern the country. 


Though she was but a woman, she was not un- 
familiar with the views of the sages of old. And 
in truth she was no ordinary person, for she had 
a son who was the guardian and protector of the 
whole land. 

The Perils of a Rider 
Section 185. Yasumori, the Governor of the 
Castle of Mutsu, was an unrivalled horseman. 

A horse was onee being led out for him which 
lightly leaped over the (stable) threshold with all 
its legs at once. Noting it, he said, ' That horse is 
frisky,' and he caused its saddle to be taken off 
again. The next one in stepping out stumbled 
against the sill, and he refused to ride it also, saying 
1 And that one is so stupid that he will bring me down ' . 
Who that cannot ride would ever think that there 
was so much to fear ! 

Precautions before Mounting a Horse 

Section 186. A rider who was named Yoshida 
once said, ' The horse should ever be feared, for we 
must remember that no man can compete with him 
in strength. He who would ride a horse should 
first look it well over and learn its good and bad 
points. Next, he should see whether there is any- 
thing unsafe about its bit and saddle furnishings ; 
and if he is in doubt about anything he should not 
gallop it. He who is not unmindful of these pre- 
cautions is known as a good horseman ; they are 
important points (to remember), 5 


On Taking Pains 

Section 187, In all the different walks of life, 
when a man who has no natural ability is compared 
with a genius who practises an accomplishment 
which does not belong 187 by right to his family, he 
is sure to excel him ; for, being ceaselessly careful, 
he never trifles with his work, and so is on an entirely 
different footing from one who is free to do as he will. 

And this is the case not only with one's regular 
occupation. For in our behaviour generally to be 
ever taking pains, though without much natural 
talent, is the foundation of success ; and to be 
undisciplined, though gifted by nature, is the foun- 
dation of failure. 

On the Right Concentration of Effort 

Section 188. There was once a man who wished 
to send his son into the Church, so he said to him, 
1 You must apply yourself to study and learn the 
doctrine of Retribution, so that you may earn your 
living by preaching \ Acting on this advice, in 
order that he might become a preacher, he first 
learned to ride a horse ; for he thought, * I shall 
keep neither a carriage nor a carrying-chair of my 
own, and when a horse is sent for me to go and 
officiate as priest, it would be sad indeed if I fell off, 
because I did not know how to ride '. Next he 
learned a few little songs, thinking, ' After the 
service is over I may be pressed to take a little sake, 
and my hosts would think it very odd if their priest 


was totally without any social accomplishments \ 
Having thus got a smattering of these two important 
subjects he began to think of preparing himself still 
further (for his work) ; but while carefully con- 
sidering it, not yet having had time to learn to preach, 
he found himself an old man ! 

And it is so not with this priest only, but with 
men of the world in general. During his youth it 
is ever to improve his standing, to achieve some 
great enterprise, to master some polite accomplish- 
ment, or to acquire learning that a man hopes 
in the distant future ; but while his heart is set 
upon these things, thinking he has plenty of life left, 
he begins to idle and occupies himself only with 
what is before his eyes or is at the moment necessary ; 
and so the days and months pass by and he grows 
into old age, having accomplished nothing. At 
length, having mastered no art and without the 
position he had hoped for, as he cannot recall the 
years he falls fast (into decay), just as a rolling wheel 
goes plunging down a hill-side. 

So then we should think well which is the principal 
thing in our whole life we would aim at ; and having 
carefully decided, we should earnestly strive to 
attain it, disregarding all else. When many tasks 
arise before us in any one day, or even hour, we 
should do that one which is the most profitable, 
even though it be so but by a very little ; the others 
we should disregard, in order that we may bend all 
our energies on to the chief one. For if our hearts 


are tempted not to throw everything else aside, the 
one great object will never be accomplished. 

If I may offer an illustration, it is as if a man who 
was playing draughts, making no single move in 
vain, by the sacrifice of a few men captured many 
and so won the game. Now it is easy to lose three 
men, if thereby you can take ten ; but to throw 
away ten in order to gain eleven is far harder. Still, 
you should keep to the move which will give you 
the advantage, be it but by one. You may grudge 
doing it, if you thereby lose as many as ten, and 
when the losses are greater still it is hard indeed to 
exchange them. But to think in your heart that 
you can take (your opponent's) men without sacri- 
ficing your own is the sure way to lose yours without 
capturing his. 

Or, suppose a man who lives in the Capital has 
hurried off on business to the eastern suburbs, and 
then when he gets there he remembers an errand of 
still greater importance in the west suburbs ; even 
at the very gate he should turn and go west again. 
But he will perhaps say, ' Having come thus far 
I may as well do this matter first. No special day 
was fixed, so I do not see why I should not go some 
other time to do what I have to do at the west '. 
But the waste of a single hour caused by this 
thought will there and then produce a wasted life- 
time, a thing to avoid. Having once made up your 
mind to do a certain thing, you should not care if 
other objects are defeated, nor feel shame when 

PP 817 k 


you are ridiculed by others. For you can never attain 
the one Great End without abandoning all else for it. 

A number of men were once gathered together 
and one of them said, ' Whether it is better to say 
" masoho no susuki " (a blade of grass 188 ) or " masuho 
no susuki " (an ear of grass) may be decided by an 
old record which the sage of Watanobe has '. The 
Rev. Toren, who was seated there, on hearing this 
said, as it was raining, ' If anybody here has a coat 
and umbrella, pray lend them to me; I will go 
and ask at the house of the sage of Watanobe the 
correct way to speak of grass \ The others said, 
1 Be not so hasty ; first let the rain stop '. But he 
replied, 6 You could have made no more unfortunate 
remark than that ! Does a man's life wait for the 
rain to clear away ? If I should chance to die, or 
the sage should pass away, how could I ask him 
then ? * And the story goes that he there and then 
ran out, went (to the sage's house) and got the 
information. I consider this singularly commendable. 

It is written in the book called the Analects of 
Confucius, ' To do a thing at once is meritorious '. 
And just as he reasoned about the grass in dispute, 
so should we also reason about the supreme impor- 
tance of our destiny. 

On the Uncertainty of the Future 

Section 189. You may propose to do a certain 
thing to-day, but some unforeseen matter of impor- 
tance crops up and you spend the time wrongly on 


it ; or perhaps somebody you had expected cannot 
come, and some unexpected visitor arrives instead. 
At all events you fail to do what you had planned, 
and it is only the unlooked for that actually happens. 
What was to have been a trouble turns out to be 
not so, and what looked as if it would be easy proves 
to be quite heart-breaking ; so that the events of 
each passing day are very different from what you 
had expected. The same applies also to each year, nor 
is the whole of life's span any different. You may 
perhaps think that everything is sure to go contrary 
to your preconceived ideas ; but in that case you will 
find that things will of their own accord fail to do so, 
and it is harder than ever to foretell what is to come. 
In truth the one thing we may be sure of is that 
nothing is certain but (life's) uncertainty. 

On Married Life 

Section 190. What is generally known as a wife 
is a thing no man should have. 

I like to hear a man say, 8 I live ever as a bachelor ' ; 
and I feel in my heart that there is nothing worse 
than to hear such stuff as, ' So and so has turned 
son-in-law ', or, ' He has married some woman or 
other and they have settled down together '. For 
I consider it not in good form for a man to live in 
union with one who is nothing out of the common 
merely because he fancies that she is good-looking. 
And if she be indeed a handsome woman and he 
love her dearly, guarding her as he would his own 

K 2 


image of Buddha, one is rather apt to wonder how 
he can behave so. 

Worse still is it for the woman herself who has to 
keep house ; it is a nuisance too when babies come 
and she has to nurse them and dote upon them. 
Then after her husband has passed away and she 
becomes a nun, when she grows old and all memory 
of him is lost, hers is indeed an inglorious lot. 

Whatever kind of a woman she be, if he keeps 
seeing her about him from morn till eve, his heart 
grows weary and he begins to dislike her ; the 
woman herself too becomes inattentive. To live 
apart therefore and to go and stay with her from 
time to time is the way to form a tie that the passing 
months and years can never dissolve ; for it will be 
no affliction then for him to go and pay her a little 

On Keeping up Appearances 

Section 191. It is a great mistake for anybody 
to say that at night time one is not seen to advantage. 
For in many cases it is by night only that the 
glitter and tint of one's adornment are appreciated. 
At noon one should be simply and genteelly dressed, 
but in the evening a gorgeous and showy costume 
is desirable. One who is good-looking seems 
(I always think), handsomer still by artificial light 
at night, and I love to hear wary voices whispering 
in the dark. In fact it is at night time that both 
sheen and sound are most enjoyable. 

It is very pleasing also to see men going to Court 


in elegant apparel as the shades of night draw on, 
though there be no special function that evening. 
Young couples whose thoughts are fixed only upon 
each other pay little heed to the time of day ; but 
they should by right be especially particular about 
their dress when they meet unceremoniously and 
on familiar terms. I like to see a man tidy with his 
hair freshly done at close of day, or a lady who, as 
the evening grows late, retires to her room and takes 
her mirror to touch up her face. 

On Visiting Temples at Night 

Section 192. Night is the best time also to go to 
worship at the Shinto and Buddhist temples, especially 
on those occasions when others do not go. 

A Bad Judge of Character 
Section 193. An uneducated fellow may fancy 
that he can appraise a certain man and gauge his 
knowledge, but he can never quite manage it. 

(For example), an ignorant man, whose sole 
ability consists in playing draughts, may perhaps 
on meeting a really cultivated man who cannot play, 
think that the other is his inferior in general know- 
ledge ; or one who is especially skilful in any of the 
various arts may think he is more worthy than 
another who is not familiar with his particular attain- 
ments ; but they are sadly mistaken. Again, a priest 
who studies the scriptures and a Zen priest who 
sits in deep meditation may each think the other less 


worthy than himself ; but they are neither of them 

You should never challenge or criticize others 
whose abilities are beyond your own. 

A Good Judge of Character 

Section 194. The seeing eye of the expert will 
never make even the slightest mistake about others. 

For instance, somebody concocts a fabrication 
which he disseminates among a number of people, so 
as to form an estimate of their various characters. 
One man will honestly believe it to be true and may 
be judged by what he says. Another will fancy he 
sees in it far more truth than is pretended and will 
make it worse by exaggerating it. Another will 
discredit it altogether and pay no regard to it. 
Another, thinking it somewhat fictitious, while 
neither trusting it nor distrusting it, will turn it care- 
fully over in his mind. Another, while thinking it 
highly improbable, will say no more than, ' It may 
be so, as it is currently so reported \ Another will 
make all kinds of guesses, and even nod and smile 
sagaciously as if he knew all about it ; though in 
reality he knows nothing whatever. Another will 
hazard a guess and think, c Ah ! that must be it ', 
but will still feel doubtful about it for fear of falling 
into error. Another will smile and clap his hands, 
thinking it to be nothing but a joke. Another will 
take it at its true worth, but will not express his 
opinion ; thus, though he is himself in no doubt 


about it, he will pass it by like one who knows 
nothing. Another will perceive from the very first 
the object of the fabrication, and without any actual 
deception will join in and give what assistance he 
can to the originator of it. 

When a number of foolish people are jesting among 
themselves in the presence of one who has the wit 
to perceive, all these different types may be recognized 
either by their words or their faces, — they cannot 
be hidden. And more easily still will an enlightened 
man appraise such as us who are wandering astray, — 
as if he held us in the hollow of his hand. 

But not in this manner, 194 however, should we 
form an estimate of (the teaching of) the Laws of 

An Escaped Imbecile 

Section 195. Somebody was once passing along 
the Koga field path, (when he saw) an individual 
arrayed in a wadded silk garment and wide trousers 
carefully washing a wooden image of Jizo, which he 
had immersed in the muddy water of the rice field. 
And as he watched this extraordinary spectacle, 
two or three men in hunting livery came up and 
saying, ' Ah, here is his lordship ', conducted the 
(poor) fellow away. 

It was the Lord Chamberlain of Koga ! But 
when in his natural state of mind his lordship was a 
most worthy and estimable man. 


On Ordering a Procession 

Section 196. Once when the portable shrine of 
the To Dai Temple was returning in state from the 
small Shrine of the To Temple with some Genji 
nobles in attendance, this same Lord Chamberlain, 
who was then Commander-in-Chief, was ordering 
the crowd to be pushed back in front. The Prime 
Minister of Tsuchi Mikado asked him, c Should the 
precincts of the shrine be kept clear too ? ' But he 
merely replied, • The son of a soldier is perfectly well 
acquainted with the duties of his office '. 

On a subsequent occasion he said, ' That Premier 
may have read the Hokuzansho, but he is evidently 
unfamiliar with the views of Saikyu. It is the 
precincts of the shrine above all that should be 
cleared, for fear of the evil spirits and malevolent 
deities with which it is haunted '. 

On the Use of the Word Jogaku 

Section 197. In the Engishiki we find jogaku no 
nyoju (the full complement of Court maid-servants) ; 
so that jogaku is not used only for priests in the 
temples. In fact it is the general word for the full 
complement of any kind of officials. 

On the use of the Word Yomei 

Section 198. The term Yomei (honorary) is not 
confined to the title Yomei no Suke (Hon. assistant) : 
we find Yomei no Sakwan (Hon. fourth assistant) 
also mentioned in the Seiji Yoryaku. 


Chinese and Japanese Voices 

Section 199. The Rt. Rev. Gyosen of Yo-gawa 

has said, ' China is a land where the voices are 

cultivated and not uncouth ; while in our country 

they are all harsh, we have no refined tones at all '. 

On the Bamboo 
Section 200. The kure bamboo has narrow leaves 
and the Jcawa bamboo has broad ones. It is the 
kawa bamboo which is to be seen near the Palace 
ditch, and the kure variety which is planted close 
beside the Jiju Temple. 

The Notices on a Sacred Mountain 

Section 201. As to the boundary and dismounting 
notices, 201 the latter (for riders) is the lower one, and 
the former (for all laymen) is the one higher up. 

On the Godless Month 

Section 202. There are no records to show that 
the tenth month is really a month without the 
Gods and that it is best to avoid it for Shinto 
festivals ; nor is it so written in any book. Is it not 
probable that this month was so called because there 
is in it no festival at any of the shrines ? We are 
told that this is the time when all the host of the 
Gods gather at Daijingu 202 (the Ise Shrine), but 
there is no real authority for this. If it were so, we 
should expect to find it the special month of festivals 
sX Ise, but it is not celebrated there in any way. 


There have often been instances of His Majesty 
proceeding to shrines in state during the tenth 
month, and they have nearly always been ill- 

An Emblem of Punishment 

Section 203. Nobody nowadays has any exact 
knowledge as to the (old) custom of hanging up 
a quiver on the house of one who was outlawed by 
Imperial decree. But when the Supreme Ruler was 
suffering or the land was troubled a quiver was 
hung up at the Tenjin Shrine in Fifth Avenue. 203 
Also at Kurama there is a God called My 6 j in of the 
Quiver, and there, too, one used to be put up. 

When the quiver of a Police Inspector was hung 
outside any building, nobody might go out or in ; 
but in modern times this custom has died out and 
the place is sealed up instead. 

On Flogging a Criminal 

Section 204. When a transgressor had to be 
flogged, he used to be brought to a frame and tied 
on to it. But nobody now knows what this frame 
was like, nor the correct procedure of putting him 
on to it. 

A Dedication Oath 

Section 205. The dedication oath of the abbot 

at (the temple of) Mount Hiei was originally written 

out by Bishop Jie ; no provision is made in the law 

for any written oath at all. In the age of the wise 


men of old there were no oaths of any kind in 
carrying on the government, but in these modern 
days they have become general. The law teaches us 
that there is no impurity in fire or water,205 but only 
in the vessels that hold them. 

An Ominous Incident 

Section 206. During the time when Toku Daiji 
no U-daijin Dono was Superintendent of Police, he 
was once holding an official consultation at the 
Middle Gate, when a cow belonging to the official 
Akikane, which had broken loose, entered the 
building, climbed the platform where His Honour 
was seated, and lying down there began to chew the 

This being such an unprecedented occurrence, all 
agreed that the animal should be sent to the house 
of the augurs. But his father, who was then 
Premier, when he heard of it said, ' A cow is without 
any sense, and as it has legs will it not clamber up 
anywhere at all ? Some feeble officer who is irregular 
in his duty has evidently been unable to secure his 
wretched cow'. So the animal was returned to its 
owner, the mats it had lain upon were changed, and 
I venture to say there were no evil consequences ! 

It has been said, 206 ' When you see a marvel and 
do not marvel at it, it thereupon ceases to be a 
marvel at all \ 


Another Ominous Incident 
Section 207. When the ground was being levelled 
in order that the Kameyama Palace might be erected, 
they came across a mound where was a clump of 
I know not how many snakes gathered together. 

People said that they must be the Gods of that 
spot ; and a report to that effect was made to the 
Emperor, who asked in reply what should be done 
about it. All agreed, ' As they have been in posses- 
sion for so many ages, it would be inadvisable to dig 
them up heedlessly and throw them away'. But 
this nobleman (the Premier) alone among them all 
said, * When erecting a residence for His Majesty 
what evil can result from worms which dwell on 207 
Imperial land ? These are not malignant divinities, 
and they will take no offence ; they may all be 
safely dug up and thrown away '. So the mound 
was destroyed and the snakes allowed to float off 
down the Oi River. 

In this case, too, there were no evil results. 

On the Way to Tie up a Scroll 

Section 208. When tying the cords of a scroll of 
Sacred Writings, it is usual to cross them from top 
to bottom, make a loop in the middle and pull it 
through beneath the (crossed) ends. But Bishop 
Koshun of the Kegon Palace untied one and did it 
over again saying, ' That is the modern way of doing 
it, and it is very objectionable. The elegant way 208 
is to wind (the cords) round and round and then 


tuck in the end of the loop from the top to the 

Being a man of venerable age he knew well about 
details of this kind. 

An Absurd Deduction 

Section 209. A man once had a dispute (with 
another) about a field. He lost his case at the Courts 
and out of pure malice sent his servants to reap it and 
gather in the crop. But on their way thither they 
first cut another field as they passed. (Its owner) 
asked them, ' Why have you done this ? There was 
never any question about this field ! ' And the reapers 
made answer, 4 There is indeed no justification for 
cutting this land ; but as we have been sent to 
commit an offence what matters it where we reap ? ' 

Surely a very queer argument ! 

A Mysterious Bird 

Section 210. All that we are told about the yobuko- 

dori is that it is heard during the spring, but what kind 

of bird exactly it may be is not definitely recorded. 

There are instructions in the writings of the Shingon 

Buddhists for a Memorial Service 210a ' when the 

yobuko-dori sings '. It is evidently a night bird. In 

the long poem 210b of the Manyoshu beginning : 

Kasumi tatsu Mists of spring arise 

Nagaki haru-bi no And the days are lengthening 

it is again referred to ; for from the descriptions the 

yobuko-dori and ' the bird of night ' seem to be 

somewhat similar. 


Against Narrow-mindedness 

Section 211. Many are the things on which we 
should place no reliance ; for it is because he had 
had such complete confidence in them that a foolish 
man feels angry and resentful (when they fail him). 

Have you power and authority ? trust not in 
them ; even the most dread personage may be over- 
thrown. Have you riches ? trust not in them ; in 
an instant of time they may all be lost. Have you 
wisdom ? trust not in it ; even Confucius was un- 
fitted for his epoch. Have you moral virtue ? trust 
not in it ; even Gankwai 129a met with misfortune. 
Trust not even in the favour of your lord ; for 
swiftly may your execution be required. Have you 
servants to obey you ? trust not in them ; they 
may revolt and leave you. Trust not in a friend's 
intentions, for (his feelings) are sure to change. 
Trust not even in a direct promise, for good faith is 
no common thing. If you base your hopes neither 
on yourself nor on others, then if good comes your 
way you will rejoice, and if evil you will not repine. 

If you have plenty of room to right and left you are 
not thwarted ; if you have space in front and behind 
you are not obstructed ; it is when hemmed in that 
you get crushed to pieces. If therefore you have 
a heart which is petty and unyielding you grow 
contentious and with constant dissensions are soon 
brought low. But if you are broad-minded and 
amiable not a hair of your head will be lost. 

Man is of the same spirit as the universe ; and 

Have you servants to obey you ? trust not in them ; they 
may revolt and leave you. 

P. 158 


as the universe is infinite can human nature be any- 
thing else ? If your mind is broad, wide, and 
unfettered, your passions will not be restricted, and 
nothing at all can trouble you. 

The Autumn Moon 

Section 212. The autumn moon is lovely beyond 
all measure ! Nothing to my mind can be more 
pitiable than a man who cannot perceive how 
different it is from all other moons. 

On Building His Majesty's Fire 

Section 213. When making up the fire on the 
hearth in His Majesty's presence, charcoal may 
not be lifted with the tongs, but should be taken 
direct from the receptacle ; the object being that 
greater care may be taken in piling it up, lest it 
should come tumbling down. 

But once when His Majesty went in state to (the 
temple of) Yawata, the attendants in white livery 
were putting on charcoal with their hands ; and 
a certain man, learned in ancient lore, said, * On 
a day when white is worn there is no objection to the 
use of tongs '. 

On Some Musical Names 
Section 214. The music known as so-fu-ren 
(♦Hit ^ Wk> l° v ^ n g thoughts of my husband) has 
nothing to do with connubial love. It was originally 


written so-fu-ren (^g Jfjj |||, Privy Councillor's 
lotus), and the characters have been altered. 
Oken of Shin, who was a Privy Councillor, planted 
the lotus at his home, and the music was composed 
in its honour. He was thereafter known as ' the 
Lotus Privy Councillor \ 

The music called kwai-kotsu ($[!{ $1) also 
should correctly be written kwai-kotsu (^ §6). 
There is a country called Kwai-kotsu, a land of 
terrible barbarians, who were conquered by the 
Chinese ; and when they were afterwards brought 
to China they still used to play their native music. 

A Frugal and Informal Supper 

Section 215. The nobleman, Taira no Nobutoki, 
when he was an old man, used to tell the following 
story of his young days : ' One evening I received 
an invitation from the lay priest of the Saimyo 215 
Temple, and I replied, "(I will come) in a moment". 
But finding that I had no visiting dress, I delayed 
over one thing and another, till a second message 
came, " Possibly you have no visiting robe ; but it 
is night, so though unconventional pray come at 
once " ; and I arrived there in the shabby old garb 
which I generally wore at home. He brought out 
some cups and a flask (of wine) and said, " I sent 
you my message because it would have been so dull 
to drink this sake all by myself. I have no food 


to offer you, and my servants have retired to rest ; 
but pray hunt about the place and see if you can 
find anything that will do." So I took a taper and 
searched the dark corners, till I found a little bean 
sauce in a small basin on a shelf in the kitchen, and 
I said, " This is what I have found ! " w That will do 
capitally ", he replied, and with fun and jollity we 
drank many a cupful together. And that is the 
way we lived in those days ! ' said he. 

A Friendly Action 

Section 216. On a certain occasion this lay priest 
of the Saimyo Temple, while on his way to worship 
at Tsuru-ga-Oka, 216 called upon the lay priest 
Ashikaga Sama, having first duly sent a message 
to say that he was coming. His host's preparations 
were as follows : for the first course ceremonial 
dried haliotis, for the second shrimps, for the third 
sugared rice cakes, and that was all. There sat 
down (with the guest) the master of the house with his 
wife, and Bishop Ryuben 216 who sat beside the host. 

Soon (the visitor) said, ' I wonder if you have yet 
got those coloured Ashikaga linens which you 
generally send me each year ? ' (The host) answered, 
1 Yes, they are all ready for you,' and several kinds 
of coloured linen were laid before him. Whereupon 
he had them made up into dresses by the ladies of 
the house and presented them (to his host) ! 

I had this tale from one, alive quite recently, 
who saw it himself. 

PP 817 L 


On the Pursuit of Riches 

Section 217. A man of enormous wealth once said 
to me, i Men should forsake all else and devote 
themselves entirely to the acquisition of riches ; 
for existence as a pauper is worthless, and it is only 
the rich and well-to-do who are men at all. Now, 
would you become rich, the first requisite is to train 
yourself to take the correct view of life. And by 
that I mean nothing but this — while you live you 
must consider human life as fixed and stable, and 
never for a moment think of it as impermanent. 
Be this your chief care. Next, you must never give 
way to your manifold needs and requirements. In 
this world your wants both for yourself and others 
know no limit ; and if you yield to your passions 
and fancy you may gratify your every desire, 
though you had a million of money it would suffice 
not even for a moment. Your requirements are 
endless, but the time soon comes when your resources 
are all gone, for you cannot satisfy unlimited needs 
with a limited fortune. Therefore if desire springs 
up in your heart, it is an evil thought come to work 
your ruin ; be strictly careful and on your guard 
against it, and do not give way to even the least of 
your wishes. Next, if you fancy your money may 
be employed like a servant (to carry out your 
behests), it will be long indeed ere you are free from 
poverty. Do not compel it to serve you, but rather 
look upon it with awe and reverence, like your 
lord, or like your God. Next, though you wellnigh 


disgrace yourself, you must show neither temper 
nor malice. And next, you must have honesty 
and be scrupulous in keeping your word. He who 
seeks after wealth and holds to these precepts shall 
find riches come to him as surely as dry (wood) 
bursts into flame or water runs downhill. And as 
long as your accumulation of money remains unspent, 
though you cannot indulge in banquets and wine, 
music and love, though you cannot furnish your 
home with costly magnificence, though you cannot 
satisfy your every whim, yet your heart will be ever 
peaceful and happy.' Such were his words. 

But it is only to enable him to gratify his desires 
that a man seeks for wealth at all ; and he calls 
money wealth, because by its means he can procure 
what he wishes. A man who has desires which he 
cannot gratify and money which he cannot spend 
is precisely the same as a pauper. What pleasure 
can it give him ? These precepts tell us that if we 
have no worldly cravings we shall have no fear of 
poverty. But we might as well be without wealth 
at all, as find comfort only by denying ourselves all 
that we wish for. Surely one who suffers from a boil 
would rather be without it at all, than find comfort 
only by washing it in (cold) water. 

Therefore, when we come to this, there is no 
difference between the rich and the poor. The only 
perfection is the happy mean, and to be ever in 
want is no 217 worse than to have nothing left to 
wish for at all. 



Two Fox Stories 

Section 218. People are sometimes bitten by 

One of the servants in the Horikawa Palace while 
asleep was once bitten in the leg by a fox. In the 
Ninna Temple too, one night three foxes flew at 
a junior priest as he was crossing in front of the 
main building, and bit him. He drew his sword to 
defend himself and thrust two of them through, 
killing one outright, but the other two escaped. 
The priest was bitten in many places, but did not 

On Playing the Flute 

Section 219. Once when I asked Shijo Kwomon 
he told me, ' Tatsu-aki ranks very high as a skilled 
(musician). The other day he came to me and said, 
" I am no doubt irritable and very stupid, but I 
humbly think that there is something rather strange 
about the go stop in a flute. For this reason : the 
kan 219 stop gives the hyo note, and the go stop gives 
the shimomu note, while the shozetsu note comes in 
between them. The jo stop gives the so note, next 
to it comes the fusho note, and the saku stop gives 
the oshiki note ; next to this comes the rankei note, 
then the naka stop gives the banshiki note, and in 
between the naka and roku stops comes the shinzen 
note. Thus each stop combines with the next to 
form a harmonic note, except the go and jo stops 
which are not in accord ; for when both are played 


together the tone is displeasing. Therefore when 
one comes to these, one stop has to be lifted (before 
the next is put down). If it is not, the result is 
a discord, and it is hard for a man to play it pro- 
perly." That is what he told me, and the conclusion 
arrived at is indeed of interest. A wise man of old 
once said that a youth should be regarded with 
respect, and this example bears him out.' 

On another occasion, however, Kagemochi told 
me, ' If the instrument you use is properly tuned, 
all that you have to do is to blow it. When playing 
a flute you modulate the notes by your breath, but 
you must add a little natural ability to what you have 
been taught about each stop and put your heart into 
it as well, and you should do this not with the go stop 
only. You cannot say definitely, therefore, that to 
lift (one stop before the next is put down) is the only 
way to play. If you blow badly any of the stops 
may sound discordant, but with a skilled musician 
they are all harmonious ; if they are not, it is the 
fault of the player, and not a defect in the instru- 
ment.' Such was the opinion he gave me. 

On the Tone of Temple Bells 
Section 220. To the musicians of the Tenno 
Temple I once said that though all else in the pro- 
vinces might seem vulgar and stupid the opera at 
the Tenno Temple would not shame even the 
Capital itself ; and they replied, * The music at this 
temple when it is played correctly does indeed 


harmonize more beautifully in tone than any other. 
The reason is said to be that we still to-day preserve 
the pitch of the music written in the time of H.R.H. 
Prince (Shotoku). It is the bell that hangs in front 
of the Rokuji Hall, and its tone is the exact oshiki 
note (approx. A natural). But, as it rises or falls 
(slightly) according to the temperature, it can only 
be accurately taken between the Nirvana Festival 
and the Festival of the Dead (i.e. between the 
fifteenth and twenty-second days of the second 
month). It is a highly valued possession ; for 
having once got this exact tone all other notes will 

All bells should sound the oshiki note. It is the 
note of mutability ; for it is that which is given out 
by (the bell at) the Temple of Mutability in the Gion 
Monastery (in India). The bell of the Saion Temple 
should have sounded the oshiki note ; but though it 
was re-cast again and again it was still out of tune, 
and therefore it had to be procured from abroad. 
The Hokongo Temple bell also sounds oshiki. 

On Extravagant Ceremonial Costumes 
Section 221. During the kenji (1275-8) and koan 
(1278-88) periods, on the (Kamo) Festival day, 
those employed by the police used (to carry), for 
a decoration, a figure of a horse made of four or five 
pieces of linen of a peculiar blue tint, with a tail 
and mane of candle-wick. Over this they threw 
a garment painted with spiders' webs, and as they 


passed along they sang the gist of a verse. 221 Old 
officials to-day tell us that this was quite a usual 
thing to see, and that it was always pleasing and in 
good taste. 

But in these days the decorations, as the years 
pass by, have become much overdone. (Those in 
the procession) have adopted endless figures of great 
weight ; their (decorated) sleeves to left and right 
have to be borne up by others, and they themselves, 
scarcely able even to carry their spears, and panting 
for breath, make a very unseemly spectacle. 

A Question of Liturgy 

Section 222. Jogwan Bo of Takedani once, while 
visiting at the To Nijo Palace, was asked (by the 
Empress), ' How may we acquire the greatest merit 
at a Mass for the Dead ? ' He replied, ; (By intoning) 
the Komyo, Shingon Hokyo, and In Darani scrip- 
tures.' (On a subsequent occasion) his students 
asked, ' Why did you say that ? Surely nothing 
can be more beneficial (at that service) than to 
repeat the Nembutsu prayer ; so why did you not 
say so ? ' And he answered, 4 Had it been one of our 
own sect, I should have said so, (but it was not) ; 
and, to tell the truth, I know not where to find in 
Holy Writ that we shall thereby acquire greater 
merit when chanting the Mass for the Dead. So, 
as she might have asked me again from whence 
I got my authority, a question which I should have 
been unable to answer, I gave her that reply ; for 


the Shingon and Darani are at all events well 
authenticated scriptures.' 

On a Boy's Name 

Section 223. Tazu no Oi Dono, when a boy, was 
known as Tazu Kimi (Master Crane). But it is 
a mistake to say that he was so called because he 
used to keep cranes. 

On the Waste of Land 

Section 224. The lay priest Yushu, a teacher of 
philosophy, on his way from Kamakura up (to the 
Capital) once called on me to ask me some question ; 
and on entering he at once chided me as follows : 
' Much of the space in this garden of yours is shame- 
fully and improperly wasted. He who knows the 
Way would set to work and plant it. Pray put all 
of it under cultivation, except a single narrow path.' 

And in truth, to waste even the least bit of ground 
is all so much loss of profit ; it might be planted 
with vegetables or simples. 

On the Origin of Certain Dances 

Section 225. O no Hisasuke tells me that the 
lay priest Michinori once chose the most pleasing of 
the various (known) dances and taught a woman 
called Iso no Zenji to perform them. Girt with 
a sword, she wore a white garment with a man's 
cap, and hence they came to be known as ' men's 
dances '. Zenji had a daughter named Shizuka 


who followed her mother's profession ; and these 
two were the first original female dancers. They 
sang of the signs and wonders of the Buddhist and 
Shinto Gods. 

In later times Minamoto no Mitsuyuki composed 
many more. And some are the revered composition 
of the ex-Emperor Go Toba, which His Majesty 
was graciously pleased to teach to Kamegiku. 

A Great Writer 

Section 226. Once, in the days of the ex-Emperor 
Go Toba, Yukinaga, a former ruler of Shinano, who 
was renowned for his knowledge of old (music), on 
being summoned to take part in a discussion upon 
musical matters, forgot two of the Dances of the 
Seven Virtues, so he was thereupon nicknamed 
8 The Young Man of Five Virtues '. He was so cut 
to the heart by this that relinquishing his studies 
he shaved his head ; and the priest Jichin, whose 
charity caused him to take even a vagabond into 
his service if he had any one ability at all, kindly 
provided him with sustenance. 

It was this same lay priest Yukinaga who wrote 
the Heike Monogatari, and taught a blind man 
known as Ikibotoke to recite it ; he also wrote very 
beautifully about the Temple Gateway on Mount 
Hiei. Of Kuro Hogwan 226 he had a detailed know- 
ledge which he duly recorded, but about Kaba no 
Kwanja 226 he seems to have been not very well 
informed, and he omits much that might have been 


included. For his military matters and all that 
concerns horses and arms he wrote according to the 
information which Ikibotoke got for him by ques- 
tioning soldiers in the east. 

And still to-day the wandering singing priests 
strive to imitate the natural voice of Ikibotoke. 

The Origin of a Certain Prayer 
Section 227. The Rokuji Raisan is a collection 
of sacred writings made by a priest called Anraku, 
a follower of the Rev. Honen ; 39 it was his chief 
work. After that, a priest known as Zenkwambo of 
Uzumasa settled the notes and the pitch, and intoned 
it himself. This was the origin of the prayer 
Ichi-nen no Nembutsu ; and it dates from the times 
of the ex-Emperor Go Saga (about 1250). Similarly 
Zenkwambo composed the (music for the) Hoji San 

The Origin of Another Prayer 

Section 228. The prayer Shaka Nembutsu of the 
Sembon (Temple) originated from the Rev. Nyorin 
during the bun-ei period (1264-75). 

A Wood-carver's Knife 

Section 229. I am told that a good craftsman 
always uses a knife which is the least little bit 
blunt. Myokwan's 229 knife did not cut perfectly. 


A Ghost Story 

Section 230. In the Gojo Palace a ghost once 
appeared ! 

Fuji Dai-nagon Dono tells me that the courtiers 
were playing draughts in (the room with) the Black 
Door when something lifted up the blind and looked 
in. c Who is that ? ' they cried as they turned to 
see ; and lo ! there was a fox in the guise of a man 
peeping in. 6 Ah, it 's a fox ! ' they shouted, and 
it fled away terrified. 

It was without doubt an immature fox which had 
not properly disguised itself. 

Against Forced Wit 

Section 231. The lay priest Sono no Betto had 
no rival with a kitchen carving-knife. 

Once in the house of a certain man a magnificent 
carp was served at table, and all the company were 
anxious to see the lay priest Betto carve it, but were 
in some doubt as to how best to broach the subject. 
However, he himself, being a man with his wits about 
him, said, ' (I have bound myself) to cut up a carp 
daily for a hundred consecutive days, and I must 
on no account miss this opportunity. I beg there- 
fore with some diffidence to do it ' ; and he proceeded 
to carve it. Somebody when relating this to the 
lay priest Kitayama Da jo Dono said that all con- 
sidered it a very happy and neat (solution) ; but 
the latter replied, ' For my part, I hold such a 
remark to be in the very worst taste in the world. 


Far better would it have been had he simply said, 
" If nobody else wishes to carve this, pray let me do 
it." How could he really have been cutting up carp 
for a hundred consecutive days ! ' He who told me 
this thought it an excellent thing to say, and I quite 
agree with him. 

It is ever better to adopt grave simplicity than 
to try to be brilliantly witty. When formally 
entertaining a guest, it is, I admit, right to strive 
to make the event amusing, but far better is it to 
refrain from too much of that kind of thing. And 
when you offer a gift to anybody, let your true aim 
be simply to say, ' I beg to present you with this,' 
and nothing more ; for it is embarrassing when (for 
instance) somebody, who asks you (to accept a 
present) which you do not wish to take, urges a game 
of chance that he may have an excuse to pay you. 

Against Presumptuous Conduct 

Section 232. People generally should (strive to) 
appear as if ignorant and incapable. 

(I once heard) a certain man's son, who was by 
no means of unprepossessing appearance, quote the 
classical authors by way of joining in the general 
conversation, though his father was present. It 
sounded wonderfully clever, but I should have liked 
him to have refrained in the presence of his honoured 

Again, in the house of another man a lute was once 
sent for, that they might hear a wandering minstrel 


perform. As one of the bridges (of the instrument) 
was missing, (the host) said, ' Get one made and fixed 
in position.' One of the company, a very present- 
able looking man, said, ' Perhaps you have such 
a thing as the handle of an old ladle ? ' and as 
I looked at him I saw from his long nails that he 
played the instrument himself. Such an officious 
remark as that was quite uncalled for in the case of 
a blind minstrel's lute, and I for my part felt sorry 
that he had thus (boasted) of being himself a player. 
A certain person thereupon added that the handle 
of a ladle being of common pine-wood was by no 
means suitable for the purpose. 

The slightest detail in young people stamps them 
as being well- or ill-bred. 

On Good Manners 

Section 233. Would you avoid giving offence to 
others, be straightforward in everything, treat all 
men with due deference, and let your words be few. 
And though all alike, men and women, age and 
youth, should behave thus, it is the charming 
manners of those who are both young and good- 
looking that make the deepest impression upon one. 

The cause of all censure from others is that one 
is apt sometimes to affect a superior attitude, to claim 
vast experience, and to treat the rest of the world 
with indifference. 


On the Advantage of Plain Speaking 

Section 234. If one asks you a question which 
you think surely everybody must know, it is very 
wrong for you deliberately to confuse his mind by 
your answer, even though it may seem foolish 
merely to make a plain reply. For possibly he does 
know, but asks in order to make certain ; and 
besides, why may there not be some who are 
honestly ignorant about it ? Would it not sound 
better to tell him plainly exactly (what he wants to 
know) ? 

If you send a message to a friend, in which you 
casually mention the foolish action of somebody as 
if he knew all about it, though in reality he has not 
yet heard of it at all, how is he to know to what you 
refer ? he will have to send back again to ask. This 
is a very thoughtless thing to do. Some there are 
who of themselves fail to catch even the stories 
which are the most widely disseminated in the 
world ; what harm therefore can there be in making 
your message plain ? 

It is only an inexperienced man who would behave 
in this fashion. 

On Emptiness 
Section 235. Into a dwelling that is already 
occupied nobody would ever think of carelessly 
walking as if it were his own. But into an unin- 
habited house vagrants lawlessly enter ; foxes, 
owls, and the like, where there are none to prevent 


them, come and live, looking quite at home ; echoes 
are heard, and all kinds of weird apparitions are to 
be seen. 

In a mirror also, because it has (in its face) no 
form or hue, innumerable different images appear 
reflected. But had it form or hue of its own, it 
would reflect nothing at all ; for it is into unoccupied 
space that other things most readily enter. 

Idle fancies come floating into our hearts just as 
they will ; is it not because we have nothing which 
can rightly be called a heart ? For if within the 
breast the heart were already occupied, none of 
these unruly thoughts could find room therein. 

A Boys' Prank 

Section 236. There is a place in Tamba (Province) 
called Izumo, where a magnificent shrine had been 
built after the pattern of the great one (in the 
Province of Izumo). 

It was autumn time, and the local Resident, 
named Shida something or other, issued this invita- 
tion to the Rev. Shokai and a number of others, 
1 Pray come and let me offer you some rice cakes to 
dedicate our Izumo (Shrine).' So they set out 
together, and one and all worshipped there, finding 
their faith greatly strengthened thereby. 

The stone lions in front of the shrine had been 
turned round and were standing back to back. The 
priest was greatly struck by this ; ' Look,' said he, 
' is not that interesting ! it is rare indeed for these 


lions to be placed thus. Surely there must be some 
very profound reason for it. How is it, gentlemen, 
that you did not notice such a curiosity ? I must 
blame you for your carelessness,' and his eyes filled 
with tears. They all expressed their wonder and 
said, ' It is truly quite unique, and will be an 
interesting tale to tell when we get back to the 
Capital.' His Reverence, still highly delighted, 
called to an old priest, whose gentle face looked as 
if he ought to know, and said, ' Surely there must 
be some special reason for the way the lions are 
placed at this holy shrine. Can you, sir, suggest 
any explanation ? ' 'I can,' said he, 4 it is the 
impudence of those rascally boys ! ' and so saying 
he went and put them right again and passed on. 
So the emotion of his Reverence had been all for 
nothing ! 

How to Use a Wicker Stand 

Section 237. Whether one should put articles 
lengthways or across on a wicker 237 stand should 
depend upon what they are. 

Sanjo U-daijin Dono said, ' Such things as scrolls 
should be put lengthways between the grooves and 
may be tied to them with paper string ; an inkstone 
should also be placed lengthways so that the pens 
may not roll off.' But on the other hand, the 
famed writers of the Kadeno Koji family never for 
a moment put these things lengthways, but invari- 
ably across. 



Section 238. The attendant Chikatomo put on 
record seven items which were laudatory of himself. 
They were all merely trivial matters of horsemanship, 
but I fancy I will follow his example, and so here 
are my seven self -congratulations. 

Item. Once, when I was walking with some 
friends admiring the blossoms, we saw near the 
Saishokwo Palace a man galloping a horse. ' Now,' 
said I, ' if that horse gallops like that again the 
animal will fall and the man will come down too ; 
just stay a moment and let us see.' We waited, and 
the horse did gallop again. When the rider wished 
to stop, he pulled it down and was himself rolled in 
the mud. 

They were all astounded at the truth of my 
words ! 

Item. Once, when the present Sovereign (Go 
Daigo), at that time the Prince Royal, was in 
residence at the Made no Koji Palace, I called on 
business at the chambers of Horikawa no Dai-nagon 
Dono who was in attendance, and found him with 
the fourth, fifth, and sixth volumes of the Analects 
of Confucius spread open before him. He said, i His 
Royal Highness a moment ago in his private apart- 
ments wished to find the quotation, " I hate the way 
in which purple dims the perception for vermilion," 
but could not, though he looked for it in his copy ; so 
he bade me hunt it up for him, and I am now trying 
to trace it.' w Oh,' I replied, ' it is in the ninth 

PP 817 m 


volume 238a at such and such a place.' ; What a relief 
that is ! ' he cried, as he hurried away taking the 
book with him. 

A thing like that is a mere nothing — a boy could 
have done as much ; but the men of the past used 
to be exceedingly pleased with themselves over the 
veriest trifles. (For example), Lord Sada-ie was 
once asked by the ex-Emperor Go Toba with refer- 
ence to one of His Majesty's poems, ' Is it incorrect 
to include both the word sode (sleeve) and tamoto 
(sleeve) in the same verse ? ' And he answered, c We 
have the (well-known) verse : 

Aki no no no Autumn time is here, 

Kusa no tamoto ka Grasses swaying in the fields 

Hana susuki Seem to wave their sleeves, 

Ho ni dete maneku As my lover frequently 

Sode to miyuran. Beckons with his sleeve to me, 

so what objection can there be to it ? ' Even this 
has been put forward as something wonderful, as 
follows : c To have had the original verse ready on 
the spur of the moment showed vast learning and 
great luck.' The petition to the Throne by the 
Premier Lord Kujo Koremichi also contained similar 
trifling items, all in his own praise. 

Item. The inscription on the great bell of the 
Jozaikwo Temple was drafted by Arikane Kyo, and 
Yukifusa Ason having made a fair copy of it was 
getting it transferred to the pattern for the foundry, 
when the lay priest who was in charge there brought 
the inscription for me to see ; it was the following 


verse, ' Though far from (this temple's) blossoms you 
may spend the evening, You shall hear 238b my voice 
for 100 miles.' I said, ' It seems to be a verse that 
rhymes with yd or to 9 so is not hyaku ri (for 100 miles) 
a mistake ? ' And he replied, c How lucky it was 
that I showed it to you ! I shall get great credit 
for this.' He at once sent a note to the house of the 
scribe, and the reply came, c Yes, it is a mistake ; 
it should be altered to suko (many journeys away).' 
But can even suko be right ? I doubt whether suho 
(many marches away) would not be better. 

Item. With a number of others I once went on 
pilgrimage to the Three Pagodas, and within the 
Jogyo Hall at Yogawa we found an ancient tablet 
inscribed ' Ryuge Temple '. One of the priests very 
impressively told us, ' Our traditions at present leave 
us in doubt as to whether this was (painted) by Sari 
or Kozei.' I said at once, • If it is by Kozei we shall 
find his signature on the back ; and if it is by Sari 
we shall not.' The back was covered thick with dust 
and filthy with cobwebs and cocoons ; but we 
brushed it and wiped it well, and then we all looked, 
and there plainly visible was c Kozei ', with his 
rank, family name, and date ! They were all much 
impressed by this. 

Item. The sage Dogan was once preaching in the 
Naranda Temple when, being unable to remember 
the Eight Calamities, 2380 he asked, ' Can anybody 
here tell me ? ' None of his students knew, but 
from the body of the hall I called out, ' Are they not 

m 2 


so and so ? ' and thus secured his very warm 

Item. Once I went with Bishop Kenjo to witness 
the Holy Water Incantation. We left before the 
conclusion of the service, and, as he could not find 
his chaplain anywhere within the precincts, he 
sent back some priests to search for hirn ; but after 
having been away a long time (they returned), saying, 
1 The crowd all look so much alike that among so 
many we cannot find him.' His Lordship said to 
me, ' How annoying that is ! Pray try if you can 
find him for me.' So I went back again and managed 
it almost at once ! 

Item. On the fifteenth day of the second month 
I went late at night, the moon was shining brightly, 
to a service at the Sembon Temple. I entered quite 
alone and unobtrusively from the back, and with 
my face hidden (had sat down) to listen, when a good- 
looking woman, scented and of striking appearance, 
pushed her way through and sat herself down so 
close up against my knee that I was overwhelmed 
with her perfume. I considered this somewhat ill- 
timed and drew to one side, but she came and sat 
still nearer just as before ; so I got up and went off. 

On a subsequent occasion, when I was carelessly 
chatting with an elderly lady at Court, she observed, 
5 1 have long thought you insufferably heartless, and 
now somebody else also feels hurt at your lack of 
civility.' I replied, ' I am afraid I do not altogether 
take your meaning,' and there the matter dropped. 


But later on I heard this : on the night that I was 
attending that service, somebody from a private box 
had recognized me and formed a plot against me. 
She dressed up her maid and sent her to me, saying, 
4 Only give him the opportunity, and he will be sure 
to address you. Go, and let me know what hap- 
pens ; it will be highly amusing ! ' 

Good Nights for Moon-gazing 

Section 239. It is the constellation Ro (part of 
Aries) which governs the fifteenth day of the eighth 
month and the thirteenth day of the ninth month ; 
and, as this constellation is then particularly brilliant, 
they are favourable nights for enjoying the moon. 

On True Love 

Section 240. It is indeed a true lover's heart 
which forces a way through the many guards on the 
dark mountain (Mount Kurabu 240a ), or manages 
to escape the watchful eyes of ' the fishermen upon 
the lonely shore ' (Shinobu Beach 240a ) ; and many are 
the soul-stirring adventures then encountered which 
can never more be forgotten. But on the other hand 
how lacking in romance it is when a man fondly takes 
to himself a wife only by the permission of his 
parents and brothers ! 

Again, when a woman who is left alone in the 
world says that she is * borne upon 240b the stream- 
let's flow ' and forthwith marries for money, perhaps 
an ugly old priest or an uncouth rustic, though the 


matchmaker may protest that they are as well 
assorted a pair as you may find, how wretched it 
must be to take one ' whom she knows 240c not and 
who knows not her ! ' What sweet converse can they 
possibly have together ? Could they but talk of the 
cruel months and years (of the past) and of the 
mountains (of difficulties) they had struggled 240d 
across all alone, their sweet converse would know 
no end. But when everything is arranged for them 
by a stranger, all such things, alas ! are apt to be 

If it chance that the woman is of great beauty and 
the man well advanced in years, ugly and of low 
rank, he will think, c Should such a darling girl have 
thrown herself away (for money) on a miserable man 
like me ? ' He will esteem her less highly therefore, 
and whenever he meets her he will feel how his ideal 
has fallen. A very wretched state of things. 

He who is not loved for his own sake when 
standing in the cloudy moonlight 240e while the night 
air is sweet with the perfume of the plums, or when 
brushing through the dewdrops at break of day upon 
Mikaki Moor had far better have nothing to do with 
love at all. 

On Procrastination 

Section 241. The perfect circle of the full moon 
lasts only for a very short time ; soon it begins to 
wane, though one who pays no attention to it may 
think that in a single night there is little or no 
change perceptible. 


A serious illness continues without check till you 
are on the point of death. But as long as your 
disease is not critical and death apparently not close 
at hand, still thinking as usual that existence is 
permanent, you propose during your lifetime to 
carry out various schemes and then to pursue the 
Way in peace ; but you fall ill and find yourself 
already drawing near to the very Gates of Death 
before having accomplished even one of them. 
Vain is it now to regret the idleness of the past years 
and months. Earnestly you vow that if you are 
cured this once, if only your life is spared, you will 
add day to night and be unremitting in performing 
this or that obligation ; but you grow rapidly worse, 
your mind gives way, and you die in delirium. It 
is ever thus ; so before anything else let all hasten 
to apply their hearts to this matter (of vital impor- 

You may fancy that you will have ample leisure 
to turn to the Way after having first accomplished 
what you aim at, but there is no end to your desires. 
In this life of illusions what can one do ? All desires 
are sinful ; and if they come into your heart you 
should realize that they are unruly feelings which 
will lead you astray, and give way to not a single one 
of them. 

If you at once cast them all aside and free from 
action and all other impediments follow the Way, 
then both for your body and mind you shall attain 
lasting peace. 


On Desires 

Section 242. We are ever subject to our good 
and bad impulses, and this is entirely due to our 
feelings of gratification and dissatisfaction. 

By c gratification ' I mean (the pleasure of) getting 
what we want, and we never pause in our efforts 
to attain it. The first thing which gratifies us is 
fame, of which there are two kinds, viz. high com- 
mendation for our actions and for our capabilities ; 
the second is love, and the third good living. Many 
desires there are, but none stronger than these 
three. They arise from taking an upside down 
view of things and result in untold evils. Seek not 
therefore to attain them. 

A Boy's Embarrassing Questions 

Section 243. Once when I was eight years of age 
I asked my father, c What sort of a person is a 
Buddha ? ' And my father made answer, c A Buddha 
is what a man grows into.' 

So I questioned him further, 6 And what must 
a man do to grow into a Buddha ? ' My father replied 
again, ' He grows into it after having been taught 
by a Buddha.' 

Once more I inquired, 6 But who instructed the 
Buddha who teaches him ? ' And he answered, 
* He also grew into it by the instruction of a previous 

So I asked yet again, ' But the very first Buddha 
of all who began this teaching, what sort of a Buddha 


was he ? ' And at that my father smiled and said, 
1 Oh, no doubt he fell down from heaven, or perhaps 
sprang up from the earth.' 

And he used to tell his friends with great delight, 
' I was so hard pressed by his questions that I really 
could not answer ! ' 


Item. Those who spend days and months unpro- 
fitably, even if they be wise and virtuous in other 
ways, are not worth a glance. So what can we say 
of those who are fools and act thus ? 

Item. As a general rule it is foolish for any man 
to pick out days which are lucky or unlucky, for 
success and failure depend upon what a man does, 
and not upon the day (when he does it). Thus, for 
example, to act wrongly on a lucky day is always 
unfortunate, and to act rightly on an unlucky day 
is always fortunate. The very luckiest day you 
could possibly have is the day when you do injury 
to none and when you are the cause of no offence 
either to your country, your lord, or the common 

Item. Though you may write a bad hand it is 
not well to get another to do your writing for you. 
Better is it to write yourself and not to mind how 
bad it may be. 

It is chiefly by his written remains that a man's 
character is revealed after death, for the mark of 
his pen in writing is the only trace of him left (to 


aid) the imagination of the survivors. People of 
the lower classes carefully cherish the trinkets that 
are left, thinking by them to conjure up the image of 
the dead ; but this is a foolish thing to do. 

Item. People should be frugal, avoid extravagance 
and not have great possessions. In fact, whenever 
I hear of a man who, though otherwise worthy, has 
accumulated vast riches, I lose all my respect for him. 

Item. People sometimes talk slander about a 
priest's family descent, alleging that he is only so 
and so's son by adoption, or that for some reason 
he at all events is not a legitimate son who can 
prove his parentage, and so on. But those who 
thus turn up their noses and revile him are surely 
themselves of ignoble birth, priests who have broken 
the law, or if they be indeed samurai we may well 
suppose them to have been (brought up) as the sons 
of tradespeople or among farmers. 

But when one, to hide his own lack of breeding, 
indulges in gossip such as this, his neighbour may at 
once deny that it is so. For if the priest's family 
has not been well-to-do in the past and is still unim- 
portant, people will say all sorts of things about it, 
good and bad, just as it pleases them ; but when 
once the family has become influential, though its 
origin may have been humble, it is the common custom 
to speak well of it ; though it by no means follows 
from this that those who do so have anything to 
boast of themselves in the way of family descent. 

In these times of ours, amid all the gossiping that 


I hear going on around me, there are many priests 
of the present day who freely discuss men whom 
they have never either known or seen. The son of 
a soldier keeping true to his family traditions never 
presumes to speak with incivility, but a priest freely 
gossips with anybody that he may happen to come 
across, (well knowing) that he runs no risk thereby 
of being killed ; and so we find that by (indulging 
in) this pernicious habit morning and evening alike 
the words of his mouth cannot help becoming 
naturally rude and offensive. What a pity it is 
that those who have wearied of the world should 
behave thus. 

Item. When we find a man bound to another by 
ties of affection as close as those between a child and 
its parents, there is generally some motive to account 
for it. One who has fled from the present life, how- 
ever, should find salvation in a warm friendship 
which is purely disinterested, for this best accords 
with humanity and the holy teaching of Buddha. 
But, alas ! I fear there are none such as this, so that 
my words will seem but as an idle dream. 



a. It should be remembered that Kenko, who wrote this 
sweeping denunciation of the Buddhist priesthood of his day, 
was himself a priest. 

b. Sei Sho-nagon was a lady-in-waiting at the court of the 
Emperor Ichijo ; she wrote the Makura no Soshi from which 
this passage, misquoted by Kenko, is taken. It runs, ' It 
is a great pity to make a favourite son into a priest, for it 
will be miserable for him to have to look upon the pleasant 
things of life as if they were chips of wood.' 

c. The sage Zoga, famous for his wisdom and purity, was 
the head of To no Mine Temple in Yamato. 


a. Kujo Dono was a courtier in the reigns of the Emperors 
Shujaku (931-46) and Murakami (947-67). 

b. Juntoku reigned a. d. 1211-21. This decree of his 
meant that the offerings made to the Throne by the people 
should not be too costly and magnificent. 


Akimoto no Chu-nagon was a noble at the court of the 
Emperor Go Ichijo (1017-36). He entered the church on the 
death of his Sovereign and lived on Mount Ohara. 


a. The late Steward of the Household was Prince Kane- 
akira, son of H.M. Daigo (898-930). 

b . Somedono of the great Fujiwara family, having a daughter 
but no son of his own, adopted a son who became the father of 
the Emperor Seiwa, which greatly increased the Fujiwara 

c. Prince Shotoku, eldest son of the Emperor Yomei, was 
a devout Buddhist and a great judge. 

NOTES 189 

Adashi Moor and Toribe Moor were burial places. The 
evaporating dewdrops signify death, and the smoke is the 
smoke of the cremation fires. 


The six senses are — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, 
touching, and thinking. 

The first part of this section teaches that the owner may be 
judged by his home. The latter part, however, shows that 
there are exceptions to the rule ; for Saigyo got quite a wrong 
impression of Go Toku Daiji when he saw the kites, very 
unlucky birds, being scared away from his palace. 


a. The godless month was the tenth month (o. c.) when the 
Gods were away at Izumo, their ancestral home. Another 
reading is ' the god-tasting month', i.e. the month when the 
Gods taste the rice offered to them which had been cut in 
the ninth month. Conf. Section 202. 

b. The overgrown orange tree laden with fruit and fenced 
in to prevent theft struck Kenko as out of harmony with the 
peaceful simplicity of the place. 


This section describes three sorts of acquaintances : (1) the 
true and intimate friend ; (2) a mere acquaintance whom it 
would be rude to contradict ; (3) one who is contentious. 

As the ideal friend does not exist, Kenko advises one to turn 
to the classics instead. Monzen is a book of poems and sen- 
tences compiled by a Chinese Prince ; and Hakushi Bunju 
is a collection of Chinese poems. Both these books were 
much read in Japan in the middle ages. Nankwa is a section 
or chapter of a book by Soshi. 

190 NOTES 


a. Tsurayuki's verse, to be found in the ninth book of the 
Kokinshu, runs : 

Ito ni yoru Though my love for thee 

Mono naranaku ni Is more difficult to break 

Wakare-ji no Than a twisted thread, 

Kokoro-bosoku mo Since our roads lie far apart 

Omoyuru kana. Faint and failing is my heart. 

To write Mono to wa nashi ni for the second line does not 
alter the general sense of the whole. 

b. The second verse is by Hafuribe no Narinaka, viz. : 

Fuyu no kite Bound in winter's thrall 

Yama mo arawa ni Far among the mountain wilds 

Ko no ha nari Trees their leaves have shed 

Nokoru matsu sae But the lonely pine lives on 

Mine ni sabishiki. Pining still for one that 's gone. 

The point of this is the double meaning of matsu (a pine 
tree, and to pine for), and it is this apparently that is un- 
favourably referred to. 

c. Pillow- words are conventional poetical epithets, which 
are used for their sound rather than for any real meaning they 

d. Ryojin Hisho is a collection of religious and operatic 
songs of the twelfth century. 

Sections 12-17 are all connected together. After suggesting 
friendship, reading, poetry, rustic life, and music, Kenko 
decides that there is nothing better than the life of a hermit 
in the wilds. 


a. ' The pathos of life,' &c, is a quotation from Genji 

b. Buddha's Birthday and the Kamo Festival were both held 
in the fourth month. 

NOTES 191 

c. Tanabata, a star festival, was held on the seventh night 
of the seventh month. 

d. The vapour rising from the water-pipes in winter refers 
to natural hot water led along bamboo pipes, or perhaps to 
the hoar-frost evaporating in the sunshine. 

e. Calling the Names of the Buddhas, and Presenting the 
First Fruits to the Ancestors, a Shinto ceremony, took place 
in the twelfth month. 

f. Driving out the devils, which dates from a terrible 
epidemic in 698, came at the end of the year ; and the general 
obeisance of the Emperor at four o'clock on New Year's 

g. The commotion at the end of the year may refer to excited 
children running about, or perhaps to creditors trying to collect 
their debts for the past year. 


a. With reference to this the following verse by Saigyo, 
mentioned in Section 10, may be quoted : 

Okata no Some there seem to be 

Mono wo omowanu On whose light and wayward hearts 

Hito ni dani Nothing seems to strike, 

Kokoro wo tsukuru Save the wind that whistles shrill 

Aki no hatsu kaze. Heralding the autumn chill. 

b. For the Chinese verse Kenko gives a Japanese translation 
of two lines only. The whole verse in Chinese is as follows : 

Lu chu hua k 4 ai feng yeh The rush and orange bloom, 

shuai the maples fade, 

Ch'u men ho ch 4 u wang ching And from the door my home 

shih I'd fain descry. 

Yuan Hsiang jih yeh tung liu The Gen and Sho flow ever 

ch'ii to the east, 

Pu wei ch'ou jen chu shao But never stop, the captive 

shih. to console. 

It was written by an exile in the interior of China, as he 
watched the two rivers flowing east to the coast where he 
longed to be. 

192 NOTES 


The holy Shinto temple at Ise is always guarded by a virgin 
Princess of the Imperial House. Kyo and Hotoke being 
Buddhist words, she uses the corresponding Shinto words 


The whole section is Buddhist in contrast to the previous 
Shinto one. This sentence refers to the Chinese verse : 

T'ao li pu yen ch'un chi mu No peach or plum can tell of 

springs passed by, 

Yen hsia wu chi hsi shui ch'i. The mist retains no trace of 

ancient homes. 


a. These two quotations are from verses in the Kokinshu ; 
the first by the poetess Ono no Komachi runs : 

Iro miede In this world of ours 

Utsuro mono wa Soon the blossoms fading fast 

Yo no naka no Lose their dainty tint ; 

Hito no kokoro no Though they have no colours gay, 

Hana ni zo ari-keru. Hearts too change and fade away. 

And the second, by Ki no Tsurayuki : 

Sakura hana Fickle hearts of men 

Toku chirinu tomo Soon are blown away, ere yet 

Omoezu Shaken by the breeze ; 

Hito no kokoro zo Cherry blossoms you will find 

Kaze mo fuki aenu. Scatter only in the wind. 

b. The colouring of the white thread is a Chinese expression, 
meaning that purity once lost can never be regained. Here 
it refers to the faithless friends whose hearts have faded like 
the blossoms. 

A. The quotation is from the Chinese classic Monzen; 
the whole passage is, 4 Those who are gone become day by 
day more like strangers, those who have just come (i.e. new- 
born babies) become day by day more like friends.' 

NOTES 193 

b. This is an allusion to the following verse in Monzen : 

Ch'u kuo men chih shih When passing through the 

City gate, I see 

Tan chien ch'iu yu fen The graveyard on the moun- 

tain side in front. 

Ku mu li wei t'ien The graves will soon be 

ploughed up into fields, 

Sung po ts'ui wei hsin. The oaks and pines for fire- 

wood soon cut down. 


The window in the old Kan In Palace was a plain semi- 
circular one without any border. But instead of this being 
copied exactly in the new building, a foliated or trefoiled 
window was put in, which was further ornamented by a 
wooden rim. The fact that Genki Mon In, mother of the 
Emperor Fushimi, noticed it, and preferred the simplicity 
of the old Palace showed her cultivated taste and her keen 
eye for details. 

This section shows that even the most intimate of friends 
should sometimes retain a little formality of politeness ; and 
that similarly there may be occasions when total strangers 
should discard all conventionalities and speak freely and 


a. This quotation is from a Chinese verse in the Hakushi 
Bunju, as follows, 

Shen hou tui chin chu pei tou Better a cask of sakt during 

Pujushengch'ienitsunchiu. Than to leave gold piled up 

to the Great Bear. 

b. This alludes to a poem by Hanro, viz. : 

Fei ma i ch'ing ch'iu Who rides fat horses cloaked 

in costly fur 

Yang yang kuo lu li Through towns and hamlets 

proudly passing on 
pp 817 N 

194 NOTES 

Sui t£ shih t'ung lien From town-bred children 

wins, no doubt, applause, 

Huan wei shih che pi. But wise men look on him 

with deep contempt. 

c. • Let him throw away his gold ', &c, is a quotation 
from Tenchi Hen, one of the books of Soshi. This section 
describes three things which most men aim at, viz : wealth, 
high rank, and a good reputation to leave behind them. They 
are all condemned as worthless, as also are learning and wisdom. 

Honen, who was born in 1133, was the founder of the Jodo 
sect of Buddhists, who believe that salvation comes from 
faith alone. He taught that men should pray Namu Amida 
Butsu as often as possible, but that it was not necessary to 
abstain from sleep or food, or to live the ascetic life of a hermit. 
The translation here given is in accordance with the Japanese 
commentary ; but the late Dr. Aston in his History of 
Japanese Literature gives the priest's answer to the first 
question as, 6 Pray earnestly enough to keep yourself awake '. 

This section is written in praise of the decision of the girl's 
parents. They considered that, as she was so singularly 
rustic and simple, by nature, she should remain so all her life. 


As the previous section gave a picture of a studious bachelor, 
so this describes family life in the depths of the country, and 
teaches that even there one should not omit the manners 
and customs of polite society. 

The ex-Emperor was Go Toba, who reigned 1186-98. 
After a banquet a guest should take away with him the food 
which he has been unable to consume. But Mitsuchika was 
so anxious to get back to his duties that, in order to save time, 
he hid it behind the screen. 

NOTES 195 

The first paragraph is a Japanese prose translation of the 
following old Chinese verse : 

Mo tai lao lai fang hsiieh Tao Wait not for age, ere starting 

on the Way, 
Ku fen to shih shao nien jen. For many ancient graves are 

those of youths. 
Uji, about nine miles south-east of Kyoto, the Capital, was 

famous for its water-wheels. 


The temple of Iwashimizu, dedicated to Hachiman, is on 

the top of Mount Otoko about ten miles south of Kyoto ; 

while the temple of Paradise and the two Kora shrines are 

at the foot of the hill. 


a. Omuro, a suburb lying east of Kyoto, was the site of 
Ninna temple, mentioned in Sections 52 and 53. 

b. ■ Burning the crimson leaves ' is an allusion to the 
following Chinese verse in the Hakushi Bunju, 

Lin chien nuan chiu shao hung To warm my wine the crimson 

yeh leaves I burned, 

Shih shang ti shih fu lu t'ai. The rock's green moss I cleared 

to write my verse. 

a. A kwan is 1,000 cash or rin ; 100 kwan therefore amounts 
to £10 8s. 4d., and 300 kwan to £31 5s. Qd. But allowance 
must also be made for the extra value of money at the time 
when Kenko wrote. 

b. Shiro uri is a white melon, and to say that a man has 
a face like a white melon means that he is handsome without 
having much ability. But the archdeacon, so as not to be too 
frank, changed the name to Shiro ururi. 


a. The father of Ensei was the Emperor Go Saga, who reigned 
a.d. 1243-6. 

b. The answer to the riddle is ■ koishiku ' (darling) written 

in phonetic characters, viz. : ^ ko, "V^"^ h I $hi, ^ ku. 

N 2 

196 NOTES 

Holy week was a week of special prayer commencing on 
January 8 for the prosperity of the land. 

Official carriages had seven cords, or five cords, or no cords 
at all, according to rank. The cords hung down from the roof 
for the rider to grasp when the carriage swayed or jolted. 

The whole verse in the Ise Monogatari is as follows : 
Waga tanomu Thinking of my love, 

Kimi ga tame ni to Though 'tis not the time of year 

Oru hana wa When the blossoms blow ; 

Toki shi mo wakanu Yet my dearest true love, see, 
Mono ni zo ari-keru. I have picked a flower for thee. 


a. Ariwara no Narihira was a famous poet and courtier 
of somewhat gay propensities, who lived a. d. 825-80, and 
Fujiwara no Sanekata was a high court official who lived at 
the end of the tenth century. 

b. The Empress Konoe was the wife of Kameyama, who 

reigned a. d. 1260-74. 


The six senses refer to the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, 

and heart. 


Gensho and Bokuba were names given to particular lutes 
of great value. The old Japanese lute had four bridges. 


Twitching the nose is equivalent to a wink. This paragraph 

describes three kinds of untruths : (1) careless irresponsible 

chatter ; (2) second-hand gossip for which the teller is only 

partly to blame; (3) the deliberate and carefully planned 

spreading of a lie. 


a. Tona and Archdeacon Koyu were both poets and con- 
temporaries of Kenko. 

NOTES 197 

b. It was this idea which some 300 years later inspired the 
builders of Ieyasu's Mausoleum at Nikko to carve the pattern 
on one of the pillars upside down, in order to avoid absolute 
perfection in that marvellous building. 


a. Chikurin In resigned his rank of Sa-daijin in 1309 and 
entered the church two years later. 

b. Do In was promoted to Sa-daijin in 1318 and gave up 

his title in 1322. 


a. Hoken Sanzo was a very devout Chinese priest who is 
reputed to have entered the church at the early age of three. 
He went to India to study Buddhism. 

b. In Kenko's time a priest was supposed to cut himself 
off from all worldly association, including even fellow-feeling ; 
so that this remark was not meant to be as bitter as it sounds. 

Ki was a horse which could gallop 1,000 miles a day. Shun 
was a great Chinese sage philosopher. 

6 The Temple ' here means Mii-dera, just as to an Englishman 
4 the Abbey ' means Westminster. 

Uji is about eight miles from Kyoto, the capital. 

The Wakan Roeishu is a collection of Chinese and Japanese 
poems. Ono no Dofu, a famous writing expert, died a.d. 966, 
aged 71. Shijo Dai-nagon who compiled the book was only 
born in that year. 

This refers to the cord for tying up the box, which was 
threaded through a hole in a projecting piece fastened on to 
one side of the lid. 

Dr. Tadamori was a member of the great Japanese Taira 

198 NOTES 

family, but like other doctors of that time he used Chinese 
words in his conversation, much as a modern doctor might use 
scientific words unintelligible to some of his hearers. But there 
is also an allusion in the riddle to a former Taira no Tadamori 
who was unpopular at Court. One of his enemies on a certain 
occasion knocked down a bottle, hinting that the Taira man 
(Heishi) might be broken like a bottle (heiji), and added Ise 
no Heishi wa sugame nari-keri ; which, owing to double 
meanings, might be translated, ' This bottle of Ise is unglazed ' 
or, ' This Taira man from Ise squints.' 

These whispers mean that the house was usually so lonely 
that the servants were afraid to go to sleep at night. The 
section possibly describes an escapade of Kenko's. 


Sha Rei-un was a great Chinese scholar who translated the 
Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Chinese. Eon was 
a Chinese sage who cultivated the white lotus, the emblem 
of Buddhism, and formed a kind of literary society in con- 
nexion with it. 


The four crimes are murder, theft, adultery, and lying. The 
five atrocities are the murder of a father, mother, disciple, 
Buddhist priest, and wounding a Buddha's person. 

Kenko here gives a Japanese prose translation of the follow- 
ing Chinese verse by Hakuraku Ten : 

Jih mu erh t'u yuan The road at sunset stretches 

far behind, 
Wu sheng chi ts'o t'o Already life is fading fast 


Uzumasa Dono was such an enthusiastic cattle breeder that 
he named his women as if they were cows. 

NOTES 199 


a. A boro-boro is a person half priest half mendicant who 
goes about with a basket over his head playing a flageolet. 

b. Boronji is another form of bonji, which means ■ sacred 
letters ' ; and kanji means 4 Chinese letters ' ; they refer to 
the ideographic characters which these wandering priests 
wore on their backs. 


It may be well to state why some of these are considered 

unsuitable as friends, No. 1, because you have to flatter them ; 

No. 2, because they are unequal in age ; No. 3, because they 

are reckless ; and No. 5, because their foolhardiness causes 

their parents anxiety. 


Ketsu and Chu were Chinese Emperors notorious for their 

tyranny and cruelty. 


The six accomplishments are, writing, arithmetic, etiquette, 

archery, riding, and music. 


The Dog of China refers to the two guardian dogs generally 

to be seen at the entrance of Buddhist temples. Perhaps 

a modern equivalent for this rather flippant remark would 

be, ■ he had a face like a gargoyle'. 


A. Gankwai was the chief disciple of Confucius. 

b. Ryo-un Palace was 250 feet in height and when completed 

it was found that the tablet had been fastened up by mistake 

on the topmost gallery without having first been inscribed. 

The painter was therefore hauled up in a basket to do it, and 

on his return to the ground it was found that his hair had 

turned white. 


This refers to a passage in the old Chinese classic Reiki, 

1 The poor body should not covet a gift of money, nor the old 

body a gift of lusty vigour \ 


The Crown Prince was the son of the Emperor Yozei, who 

200 NOTES 

reigned a.d. 877-84, while the Toba Palace was not built till 



a. According to Chinese philosophy south and east are 
male, north and west female. 

b. Shirakawa slept in this position because he was a strict 
Buddhist, and Buddha died with his head to the north and 
facing west, where paradise lies. 


These words, which are untranslatable nonsense, are 

a charm for a sick horse. 


a. The late Lord Chamberlain's name was Arifusa, a great 
poet descended from the Emperor Murakami. 

b. Shio (salt) is often mistakenly written J® instead of gg 


a. A verse in the Roei-shu is headed, ' On watching the rain 
in the hope of seeing the moon'. 

b. A quotation from a verse in the Kokinshu, which runs : 

Tare komete In my home detained 

Haru no yukue mo Whither can the spring have gone 

Shiranu ma ni Since I last was out ? 

Machishi sakura mo Now the cherry blossoms gay 

Utsuroi ni keri. Which I longed for fade away. 

c. This is the Kamo Festival, when hollyhock decorations 
were used, as mentioned further on. 

d. l Casting out your stepsons ' is a kind of solitaire. The 

EdcU 000###0#000 

^ White men 15 q 
q 5lack men 15 q 

O * =^2, • 


men are placed as shown, and beginning from the black 
man marked, who counts as one, you count round continuously 

NOTES 201 

in the direction of the arrow, casting out every tenth man 
until all the white men are out except the marked one ; then 
beginning again from it all the black will be cast out, leaving 
the white man alone. 


a. On the 5th day of the 5th month coloured iris balls are 
hun? up to preserve the household from sickness. The 
Japanese word (kusudama) means really ' medical pills '. 

b. The Empress Biwa, wife of Sanjo, who reigned a. d. 
1012-15, was very ill, and hoping to recover changed her 
residence, but died on the way. Ben was the nurse of the 
Princess Yomei Mon In, and the verse she composed was 
as follows : 

Ayame gusa All the iris balls 

Namida no tama ni Now are changed to drops of tears 

Nuki-kaete Hanging on the screen ; 

Ori naranu ne wo Suddenly are heard our cries, 

Nao zo kake tsuru. And the iris also dies. 

The Mistress of the Bedchamber E's reply was : 

Tama nukishi True the iris balls 

Ayame no kusa wa Hang there threaded as you say, 

Ari nagara And 'tis sad to think 

Yodo no wa aren Stripped the^wild swamp where they grew, 

Mono to yawa mishi. Empty the Royal Bedroom too. 

Both verses contain plays upon words, which it is impossible 
to reproduce adequately. 

The text referred to runs, Hajime myo ho ni shitagaeba tsui 
ni kyo ne itaru, Aji Hon Fusho ni arazaru nashi (If we begin 
by carrying out the wondrous law, we shall at the end enter 
Nirvana ; so says Holy Writ). 

Tamekane had been captured by the rebellious clan of 
Hojo ; Kenko apparently cites his worthy fidelity and dignity 
in contrast to the dog in the previous section. 

202 NOTES 


The point of this is the two different ways in which the word 
gyo-do (sediment) may be written. As regards the second of 
the two, it is believed that fish in the sea always follow the 
same track ; hence the sediment must return along the same 
way, i. e. back over the part of the bowl which the lips have 


Kenrei Mon In was the consort of Takakura, and mother of 
the infant Emperor Antoku who perished at the battle of Dan 
no Ura. The Emperor Go Toba who succeeded the latter 
reigned a.d. 1186-98 ; while Go Saga reigned 1243-6. 

Genseki was one of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove 
whose eyes were said to look green when he wished his visitor 
to stay, and white when he wished to be left alone. 

The shell game is played with 360 clam shells ; the top halves 
of which are divided among the players and the bottom halves 
are placed in a heap in the centre. The game consists in trying 
who can fit the greatest number together. 

A quotation from the Analects of Confucius. 

Ono no Komachi lived in the latter part of the ninth century. 
Kiyotsura lived about the period 889-923. 

With reference to this the following Chinese verse by Rihaku 
may be quoted : 
Hua chien i hu chiu A flask of wine, alone amid 

the flowers, — 
Tu cho wu hsiang ch'in No friend have I to keep me 

Chu pei yao ming yueh But as I lift my cup the moon 

peeps out, 
Tu ying ch'eng san jen. It and my shadow make the 

party three ! 

NOTES 203 


Saimyo means ' the Western Light ', which is perhaps the 

reason why it is mentioned as rather unexpectedly facing 



The mallets were burned at the edge of the pond in the 
Shinsen Garden. The pond got its name from the fact that 
Kobo Daishi once during drought prayed there for rain, and 
his prayer was answered. 


The man who has a hereditary calling must work hard to 
keep up the credit of his family. But one who takes up another's 
trade has not this spur to urge him on. 

I have taken masoho as another form of masuho (a blade of 
grass) ; but a second explanation is that masoho no susuki 
and masuho no susuki are two different kinds of grass. 

That is, one must not criticize in this way the different 
methods of religious teaching. 

These are the prohibitory notices upon a mountain where 
Buddha expounded his doctrine. 

The more modern belief is that the Gods assemble at Izumo 
in the tenth month, not at Ise. 

Both the Tenjin and Myojin Shrines were shrines of healing ; 
and therefore when the Sovereign or the country were ailing 
the Gods there were in disgrace, and quivers were hung up 
to mark the fact. 

Implying that the purity of the spirit of worship is sullied by 
an oath to bind it. 




This is a quotation from the Senkin Ho. 

The same idea is expressed in the old verse 
Kusa mo ki mo 
Waga O Kimi no 

Kuni nareba 
Izuku ka oni no 
Sumika naru beki. 

In our native land 

Every tree and plant belongs 

To the Emperor. 
Elsewhere, then, must devils roam, 
Here they cannot find a home. 


The objectionable way. 

The elegant way. 


a. Yobuko-dori means 4 the bird that calls the children ', 
hence the service for the dead is to be held when this bird is 
to be heard calling back the ghosts of dead children, i.e. 
in the spring. 

b. This poem, taken from the first book of the Manyoshu, 
begins : 

Mists of spring arise 
And the days are lengthening, 

Eventide draws on, 
And, although I know not why, 

In my secret heart 
Sad and sorrowful am I, 

When the bird of night 
Sings its low and mournful note, &c. 

The lay priest of the Saimyo Temple was Tokiyori, Governor 
of Sagami, mentioned in Section 184. He had been the 
Ho jo Regent, and was now living in retirement. 

Nagaki haru-bi no 

Kure ni keru 
Wazuki mo shirazu 

Mura-kimo no 
Kokoro no itami 

Uranake oreba, &c. 



Tsuru-ga-Oka was the Temple of Hachiman at Kamakura, 
of which Bishop Ryuben was in charge. 

This appears to be Kenko's reductio ad absurdum of the rich 
man's advice to acquire great wealth. 

The vibrations of these notes may be found in a paper read 
by the Rev. Dr. Syle before the Asiatic Society of Japan, 




Names of slops y ^ 





o o o o o o o 

Names of musical 
hanes produced 







■ r-i 















where they are compared with the notes in our own scale. 
The Chinese scale as here given corresponds approximately 
to our chromatic scale between D flat and D flat. 

The verse was : 

Kumo no i ni 
Aretaru koma wa 

Tsunagu tomo 
Futa michi kakuru 
Hito wa tanomaji. 


Tether a wild colt 
With a dainty halter frail 

Made of spider's thread ; — 
Rather would one trust it than 
Trust a vacillating man. 

206 NOTES 


Kuro Hogwan was Yoshitsune, and Kaba no Kwanja was 
his brother Noriyori. 


Myokwan was the artist who carved the 1,000 handed image 
of Kwannon at the Shobi Temple. 

Yanaibako is a little low table or stand, made of willows, 
with a corrugated top, used to put all sorts of odds and ends 


a. There seems to be some discrepancy here, for the quota- 
tion is from the seventeenth book, eighteenth chapter. 

b. The verse does not scan, for Kenko gives only a Japanese 
prose translation of the original Chinese verse. 

c. The Eight Calamities are given as, grief and pain, joy 
and pleasure, curiosity and spying, in-breathing and out- 


a. Mount Kurabu is brought in here because the name 
means dark or troublous. Shinobu Beach is also used on 
account of its meaning ; conf., the following verse : 

Uchi-haete 'Tis the fishermen 

Kurushiki mono wa Who upon the lonely shore 

Hito-me nomi Tend the dry salt-pans, — 

Shinobu no Ura no Only these alone can see 

Ama no taku hana. How I mourn, my love, for thee. 

b. The quotation is from a verse by the poetess Ono no 
Komachi : 

Wabinureba All alone am I 

Mi wo uki-gusa no Like the floating waterweed 

Ne wo taete Severed from its root ; 

Sasou mizu araba Borne upon the streamlet's flow, 

I-nan to zo omou. Where it takes me I will go. 

c. A reference to another verse by the priest Saigyo. 

NOTES 207 

d. This refers to the following verse : 

Tsukuba Yama Though the forests dense 

Hayama shigeyama Make the mountain Tsukuba 

Shigekeredo Difficult to cross, 

Omoi-iru ni wa Naught shall stop the lover true, 

Sawarazari-keri. Somehow he will struggle through. 

e. This last paragraph refers to passages in the ls6 Monoga- 
tari and Genji Monogatari. 


The appendix consists of six quotations from the Wa Rongo, 
which are supposed to be by Kenko Hoshi. 


Court Life 

27 On Resigning the Throne 

28 On the Death of the Emperor 

33 An Example of Critical Observation 

48 A Conscientious Librarian 

64 On Official Carriages 

65 On Noblemen's Caps 

66 A Ceremonial Gift of Game and Flowers 
94 The Imperial Messenger . 

101 The Forgotten Document 

102 The Forgotten Mat 
118 On Fish and Game 

133 On the Position of the Mikado's Bed 

156 A Daijin's Banquet 

176 A Royal Example of Humility 

177 On Timely Forethought . 

178 A Mistake Corrected 

182 On Dried Salmon .... 

213 On Building His Majesty's Fire 

Shinto and Buddhism 

4 On Godliness .... 

24 The Shinto Temple 

39 Three Maxims by the Rev. Honen 

|67 The Iwamoto and Hashimoto Temples 

174 On Following the Way . 

179 The Aspect of an Indian Temple 
192 On Visiting Temples at Night 
201 The Notices on a Sacred Mountain 
205 A Dedication Oath . 
222 A Question of Liturgy 

227 The Origin of a Certain Prayer 

228 The Origin of Another Prayer 
pp 817 O 


































Rules of Life 

1 One's Aim in Life .... 
35 On Writing Letters 
37 On Occasional Formality 
80 Against Discontent .... 

82 Against Perfection and Uniformity . 

98 Five Maxims 

110 Against Rash Temerity . 

111 Against too Great Fondness for Games 
117 On Good and Bad Friends 
127 Against Modern Innovations 
130 Against Vying with Others 

150 On Perseverance in Youth 

151 Against Unreasonable Persistence in OJd Age 
171 On Right Self-Conduct . 

187 On Taking Pains .... 

188 On the Right Concentration of Effort 
211 Against Narrow-mindedness 

232 Against Presumptuous Conduct 

233 On Good Manners .... 

234 On the Advantage of Plain Speaking 

Frugality, Simplicity, and Moderation 

2 Against Extravagance 
18 The Simple Life 
40 A Rustic Maiden 
72 On Superabundance 

83 Against Boundless Ambition 

99 A Premier's Extravagance 
100 A Premier's Simplicity 
116 Against Pedantry . 
120 Against the Importation of Luxuries 
124 An Example of Modesty 
126 A Good Rule for Gamblers 
184 A Wise Mother 

215 A Frugal and Informal Supper 

216 A Friendly Action . 
221 On Extravagant Ceremonial Costumes 
229 A Wood-carver's Knife . 



Refinement and the Secluded Life 

sec. PAGE 

5 On a Life of Seclusion . . . .12 

15 On Rustic Life 19 

17 On a Mountain Retreat ..... 20 

32 A Man of Culture 32 

43 A Cultivated Man at Home .... 39 

44 On Refinement even in the Country . . 39 
58 On Retiring from the World .... 50 
75 On the Secluded Life 63 

Conversation, Literature, and Music 

12 On Three Kinds of Acquaintances ... 17 

13 On Reading 18 

14 On Poetry 18 

16 On Music 20 

56 On Correct Style in Conversation ... 49 

57 On the Conversation of Amateurs ... 50 
73 On Exaggeration and Untruth ... 61 

78 Against Modern Phraseology . . . .65 

79 On Becoming Modesty ..... 65 

164 On Gossip 126 

173 On the Poetess Ono no Komachi . . . 133 

181 A Children's Verse 140 

199 Chinese and Japanese Voices . . . .153 

219 On Playing the Flute . . . . .164 

220 On the Tone of Temple Bells . . . .165 

225 On the Origin of Certain Dances . . .168 

226 A Great Writer 169 

231 Against Forced Wit 171 

Old Forms and Customs 

22 The Old is Better than the New 

23 On Old Forms Retained in the Palace 
63 An Inauspicious Custom . 

95 On the Way to Tie up a Box 

138 On keeping up Faded Decorations . 

180 A Ceremony Explained . 






203 An Emblem of Punishment 

204 On Flogging a Criminal . 

208 On the Way to Tie up a Scroll 

237 How to Use a Wicker Stand . 



Words, Written Characters, and Riddles 

62 A Little Girl's Verse 

103 A Court Riddle 

132 On the Name of an Old Road 

135 An Example of Pride 

136 Another Example of Pride 

158 The Dregs in a Wine Bowl 

159 The Name of a Knot 

160 Some Common Errors of Speech 
163 A Point in Calligraphy . 
169 A Mistaken Idea Corrected 

197 On the Use of the Word Jogaku 

198 On the Use of the Word Yomei 
202 On the Godless Month . 
214 On Some Musical Names 
223 On a Boy's Name . 


The Beauties of Nature 

19 The Four Seasons . 

20 The Beauty of the Sky . 

21 The Charm of Nature 
161 The Time for Cherry Blossoms 
212 The Autumn Moon 
239 Good Nights for Moon-gazing . 







Human Desires 

38 On the Vanity of Human Desires 

74 On the Vanity of Worldly Desires 

217 On the Pursuit of Riches 

242 On Desires .... 






Time, Death, and the Uncertainty of Life 




On the Vanity of Providing for the Future 



Regret for the Quickly Passing Years 



On Relics of the Past . 



On the Death of a Friend . . . 



An Old Letter ...... 



On Impending Death . . . 



On the Peril of Procrastination 



On the Waste of Time 



On the Value of Time 



On the Waste of Time . 



On Approaching Death . 



On Describing a Man's Last Hours . 



On the Duty of Preparing for Death 



An Image of Snow . 



On Procrastination ..... 
Sundry Discourses 



Against Leaving any Descendants . 



Against a Prolonged Existence 



The Kaiko Shell 



On Phantasy ...... 



On Priests and Society .... 



On Priests and Worldly Conversation 



On Deceit ...... 



On Lucky and Unlucky Days . 



Parasites ...... 



Some Incongruities ..... 



On the Bonito Fish . . . . 



Against Keeping Pet Animals . 



The Accomplishments of a Gentleman 



The Necessities of Life .... 



Against Cruelty to Animals 

. 97 


On Kind-heartedness .... 



On the Duty of Resignation . 

. 100 


On Knowing Yourself .... 

. 101 


On Different Points of View . 

. 105 


Against Leaving Property after Death 

. 112 


On Fellow-feeling ..... 







On Associated Ideas . 



Against the Tendency to Wander 



On Humility ....... 



On the Reputation of the Aged 



On Visiting ....... 



On Youth and Age . 



On Drinking ...... 



On Dangerous Domestic Animals 



The Perils of a Rider .... 



Precautions before Mounting a Horse 



On the Uncertainty of the Future . 



On Keeping up Appearances . 



A Bad Judge of Character 



A Good Judge of Character 



A Mysterious Bird ..... 



On Emptiness ..... 


App. Appendix ...... 


Anecdotes about Priests 


An Incident at a Horse-Race . 



An Unworthy Prelate . 



A Worthy Priest . . . 



A Pilgrim's Mistake .... 



The Priests' Wine Party 



The Priests' Picnic . . . . 



An Eccentric Archdeacon 



A Gentle Rebuke to Pride . . . 



The Goblin Cat 



A Forgiving Priest ..... 



Two Gallant Priests .... 



Two Ways of Refusing a Request for Alms 

. 113 


An Involuntary Prayer .... 

. 116 


A Dastardly Deed ..... 
Women and Love 

. 125 


On a Man's Relations with Women 



On Love ...... 



On Women ...... 



A Tactful Message ..... 







A Faithful Nurse 



The Lover's Visit ...... 



Two Lovers ....... 



On Women ....... 



On Married Life ...... 



On True Love . 

Houses, Gardens, and Furniture 



The Home and its Master 



A Charming Dwelling with One Defect 



On Building a House .... 



On the Indications of Vulgarity 



Proper Trees and Plants for the House . 



On the Bamboo ..... 



On the Waste of Land . . . . 



The Sickness of Archdeacon Gyoga . 



An Old Superstition .... 



A Cure for Snake Bites .... 



On Cauterizing too Frequently 

. 117 


On Cauterizing an Old Man 

. 118 


The Danger of Smelling Hartshorn . 
Sundry Anecdotes 

. 118 


A Woman who Turned into a Devil 



A Defective Waterwheel .... 



Toasted Radishes ..... 



Boiled Beans ...... 



On Preparation for Emergencies 



The Homesickness of Hoken Sanzo . 



A Drunken Groom ..... 



A Very Rare Book .... 



A Rt. Rev. Dai-nagon and his Servant . 



On the Difficulty, of an Easy Task . 



An Incident at a River Crossing 



Two Very Foolish Sayings 



A True Prediction ..... 

. 116 






Another True Prediction . . . . .117 


A Sublime Picture . 



A Noble Example . 



On Deformities 



An Escaped Imbecile 



On Ordering a Procession 



An Ominous Incident 



Another Ominous Incident 



An Absurd Deduction 



Two Fox Stories 



A Ghost Story 



A Boys' Prank 






A Boy's Embarrassing Questions 



mp $ 



8 2004 

HflVg7 4g 


Of CI 



i I * I 

MAY 1» 19ft 
NOV 3 1909 

MAR 1 9 1980 

JUN ? 5 " 093 

a Ho n i 7fifl 

DEMCO 38-297 


3 1197 01156 1930